FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With David Ortiz all but certain to spend the early portion of the season on the disabled list, manager John Farrell indicated that the Red Sox will probably use a committee of designated hitters during the slugger's absence.
"Those conversations are starting," said Farrell, "and it's just talking about the combination of guys who might be in a bench slot to more regular at-bats DH-wise. We're by no means at a point of saying, 'This is who our DH is going to be or this is who else is going to be on the roster,' but those conversations are happening more in earnest."
Daniel Nava, Lyle Overbay, Mike Carp, Ryan Sweeney, Brock Holt and Pedro Ciriaco are all players battling for roster spots and perhaps at-bats while Ortiz is out of the mix.
"We envision it as being a little bit of a rotation, so not to say one person would be strictly a DH," Farrell said. "That's an initial approach. To say that it would be a drastic shift to a player's routine or staying loose in between at-bats to what they might not otherwise be accustomed to, we haven't pinpointed one guy. We don't have another David Ortiz."
There are still too many moving parts for Farrell to have a clear idea of what his lineup will look like during Ortiz's temporary absence.
"Again, we've got competition that's going on in camp," Farrell said. "We've got probably three or four different options and combinations that we can fill that out with. Obviously it's a good question, but until we know who that personnel is, we'll respond accordingly."
Wright among latest round of cuts
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox had their second round of cuts on Tuesday, sending five players to the Minors, including knuckleballer Steven Wright.
Wright has spent time during camp working with 200-game winner Tim Wakefield, and the club is still confident Wright can help at some point -- perhaps even this season.
The 28-year-old Wright converted to a knuckleballer a couple of years ago.
"He is someone who is still working to repeat his delivery, to gain some control over the knuckleball, which I know is a little bit of a contradictory type of statement, but as we mentioned to Steven on the way out, he's in the right place," manager John Farrell said. "He's in an organization that embraces the knuckleball and a knuckleball pitcher -- and yet he's still a work in progress."
Wright and outfielder Alex Hassan were both optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. First baseman/outfielder Mark Hamilton was re-assigned to Minor League camp, as were outfielders Jeremy Hazelbaker and Juan Carlos Linares and right-hander right-hander Pedro Beato.
• Right-hander Alfredo Aceves, who returned from the World Baseball Classic on Monday, will get back into a game for the Red Sox in a Minor League game on Wednesday, an off-day for the team. Aceves will throw an inning in the Minors and pitch for the Red Sox on Saturday in Port Charlotte against the Rays.
• Stephen Drew's symptoms have lessened from the minor concussion he suffered last week, and Farrell said the shortstop could resume baseball activities by Thursday, provided he passes the mandatory concussion test provided by Major League Baseball.
"He's improved today; he'll go through some exertion tests on the bike," Farrell said. "We're hopeful that he'll be back on the field for a day of work on Thursday. There's improvement being made."