David Ortiz is on a timetable to rejoin the Boston Red Sox in the middle of the third week of April.
The designated hitter plans to travel today to the team’s extended spring training in Fort Myers, Fla. He has been sidelined nearly all spring with heel inflammation after missing much of the second half of last season with a right Achilles tendon injury.
“He continues to move along the prescribed plan that’s in place,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “I know with each passing day he feels better about himself, with the intensity ramping up with his running.”
Ortiz could start an injury rehabilitation assignment next week. Ortiz’s minor-league games likely will be with Triple-A Pawtucket.
Shortstop Stephen Drew, sidelined since he was hit on the helmet by a pitch during a spring training game on March 7, played four innings and had four at-bats in extended spring training Wednesday. Drew is on the seven-day concussion DL and is to start a rehab assignment today at Double-A Portland, Maine. He can play a maximum of five games while on the concussion disabled list.
There does not appear to be a timetable for shortstop Derek Jeter to rejoin the New York Yankees as he recovers from a broken ankle sustained in the AL championship series opener last October.
Jeter, eligible to come off the disabled list this weekend, was at the Yankees’ minor-league complex in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday for about 2½ hours but didn’t do much outdoor work.
“Our expectation is that he is going to be an everyday player again,” said manager Joe Girardi. “When is what we’re concerned about and how long it takes for him to get through what he needs to get through to be that everyday player.”
Piazza on stage
Former Major League Baseball catcher Mike Piazza will be taking center stage with the Miami City Ballet.
The dance company tapped Piazza to play the role of a gangster in the May 3 production of Slaughter on Tenth Avenue. Piazza, who played for the New York Mets and four other teams, won’t be dancing in tights. He’ll wear a 1920s-era gangster costume, say a few lines and then watch the rest of the performance from a seat onstage.
Piazza says his turn with the troupe is his gift to his 6-year-old daughter, a student at Miami City Ballet School in Miami Beach, Fla.
Piazza had 427 career home runs and made 12 All-Star Game appearances.
Around the league
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick is expected to miss at least three months following surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right shoulder. The Reds called up outfielder Derrick Robinson to make his major-league debut. ... Texas left-hander Derek Holland takes the mound against Jason Vargas on Friday in the Rangers’ home opener against the Angels. .. The two triples Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus had Tuesday tied a franchise record for triples in a game. It was the first time it had been done since Michael Young had two on Sept. 3, 2002 at Baltimore. ... The Yankees released right-hander Clay Rapada. ... Phillies outfielder Ender Inciarte was designated for assignment.