ARLINGTON -- While the Red Sox were in the blazing heat of Texas for one last day, right fielder J.D. Drew and third baseman Kevin Youkilis, both of whom are on the 15-day disabled list, got in some work at Fenway Park.
"Yeah, J.D. went and hit today," manager Terry Francona said. "[Batting practice coach] Matt Noone threw to him, and I think Youk did some soft toss and stuff, which is good."
Drew is scheduled to start his Minor League rehab assignment at Class A Lowell on Friday, but the Red Sox will keep an eye on the weather.
Reliever Bobby Jenks is also in limbo, as he attempts to start his rehab assignment on Saturday. With Hurricane Irene scheduled to move up the East Coast, it's been hard to plan too far ahead of time on Jenks.
"Jenks is in Salem right now but whether he stays there or not, we don't know," said Francona. "We're kind of, like everybody else, we'll see how this goes and be ready to adjust. But healthwise, they're OK. We've just got to figure out where the storm is going and when and stuff like that."
Reddick looking to bust out of recent slump
ARLINGTON -- Josh Reddick, who surged to the point where he over-took veteran J.D. Drew as Boston's primary right fielder, has gone into a serious funk of late.
Since Aug. 7, the night he had a walk-off hit against the Yankees, Reddick is 6-for-45 with one homer and two RBIs. But of late, things have gotten worse than that.
Entering Thursday night's game against the Rangers, Reddick had four hits in his last 31 at-bats, with no homers or RBIs.
However, the 24-year-old Reddick isn't panicking. In fact, he has a quiet confidence that this is all just part of the process.
"We're not trying to overdo things," Reddick said. "Everybody goes through slumps at points and times of the year. I just have to keep working and grind your way out of it. Don't try to do too much. Stay short to the ball. I'll come out of it."
The way Reddick looks at it, it's not a matter of pitchers adjusting to his early success and making adjustments. He just feels as if he's missing the pitches he was hitting earlier in the year.
"I don't feel like I'm getting pitched any different," said Reddick. "I'm seeing a lot of early offspeed pitches right now. They're just getting them for strikes. I find myself down 0-1 or 0-2 or 1-2 a lot.
"Pitches I'm getting over the plate, I'm missing, and I wasn't doing that at the beginning of the year. I've got to get back to the point where I'm not missing those pitches. Instead of hitting the pitchers' pitch, hitting my pitch. I'm definitely not getting pitched different, I don't think. There's just times where you struggle."
As recently as Aug. 6, Reddick was hitting .343. He entered Thursday's game hitting .289.
"It's tough, seeing numbers like that go down," said Reddick. "You don't see anybody hit that high anymore. It was good to start off that hot in case something like this did happen -- it wouldn't be a drastic drop like the low .200s. Luckily it's still up there in the high .280s, .290 range. Obviously I want to do better. This is a frustrating time. We've seen guys do it all year. You've just to keep grinding and get out of it."
With Papi back, Lavarnway likely to stay put
ARLINGTON -- With designated hitter David Ortiz back in Boston's lineup, Ryan Lavarnway no longer has a starting spot. Though the Red Sox could send the highly-touted catching prospect back to the Minors for the remainder of the Triple-A season, manager Terry Francona sounds as if he'd be more inclined to keep him around.
That could change, of course, if another roster need develops.
"We definitely want to keep him here through tonight, just to make sure David is OK, plus I don't know that we really have a move that's cut and dry," Francona said. "And he might pinch hit. We have six days until the 31st, but that's something we'll probably talk about. I think we'd like to keep him here. If something happened and we couldn't, we may have to return him. But I think we'd just as soon keep him here. It's not like it's April and he has 100 at-bats. This guy's got a full season under his belt."