BOSTON -- Hitting coach Greg Colbrunn has rejoined the Red Sox less than a month after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was hospitalized in Cleveland on June 4 after experiencing severe headaches and dizziness that morning before the Red Sox played the Indians.
The 44-year-old Colbrunn spent almost two weeks in a Cleveland hospital and about 10 days in Charleston, S.C., before returning to the club prior to Monday's game against the Cubs. Colbrunn didn't plan to stay for the duration of the contest and is still getting his endurance back, but manager John Farrell said he expects his hitting coach to rejoin the staff in full capacity at least in time for All-Star Week in Minnesota, which begins on July 14.
"It's great to have him back. Not from his role with us, as good a job as he's done and continues to do, but just from a personal health standpoint," Farrell said. "To see him here today, to see how he's interacting with others, it's a great sign."
Colbrunn is still experiencing some fatigue, lack of focus and headaches as part of the rehab process, but otherwise he feels OK. According to doctors, Colbrunn said, being back with the Red Sox is an important part of his recovery. He'll take things day to day in terms of how much work he does and how much time he spends at the ballpark.
"Once you start feeling better, the quicker you can get back to doing what you normally do, the quicker the recovery will be," Colbrunn said. "You're going to have repercussions -- headaches, mental fatigue, a little lethargic certain days. But the quicker you can get back into your normal life, the better you'll be.
Colbrunn doesn't remember anything from the first two and a half days he spent in that Cleveland hospital. Upon arriving at Progressive Field that Wednesday, Red Sox trainers decided it would be best to take him to the hospital.
According to the Lancet Medical Journal, a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage is a type of stroke that results from bleeding between the brain and its surrounding membrane. It kills one in eight people before they reach the hospital.
"Thank God I was where I was and had the people around me doing what they were doing," said Colbrunn, who doesn't believe there will be any long-term complications from the condition.
Assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez filled in for Colbrunn during June. Entering Monday, the Red Sox's offense ranked last in the American League in runs scored and third-to-last in both batting average and OPS. Colbrunn, who joined the Red Sox in 2013, has been keeping up with the club and communicating with the staff almost daily.
"Teams get through it. Hopefully last night was a good sign," Colbrunn said, referencing the Sox's 8-5 win over the Yankees Sunday. "I saw some good [at-bats] last night and a lot of good things happen."
Mookie excited to make Fenway Park debut
BOSTON - The excitement continued for Mookie Betts on Monday night.
A day after making his Major League debut at Yankee Stadium, which included his first hit, Betts played his first home game for the Red Sox, batting eighth and playing center field against the Cubs.
"Going from Yankee Stadium where everybody is against you, to coming to Boston where everybody is with you, that's got to be a great feeling," said Betts, who is ranked the club's No. 5 prospect.
Betts played right field in Sunday's game. He will mainly play right and center, as Jackie Bradley Jr. got a night off on Monday.
"As we mentioned, with him coming here, there's going to be a little rotation of guys through four positions," said manager John Farrell. "Mookie is in center field tonight. Jackie will be back out there, likely, tomorrow. As part of the rotation, we're trying to get close to everyday at-bats -- particularly for the young players that are on our roster."
The 21-year-old Betts exudes a quiet confidence.
"I'm not the savior of the team," said Betts, who went 0-for-3 in the Red Sox's 2-0 loss. "I'm not going to say that I am. I'm just here to contribute and do my part."
What does he view as his strengths offensively?
"I think just being able to put the ball in play," Betts said. "Make contact. Trying to keep my strikeout rate low and my walk rate high. Trying to get on base."
Though he might have been a little too aggressive on a dive for a triple into right field on Sunday night, Betts otherwise had a solid debut.
"I thought he controlled his at-bats very well [Sunday] night," said Farrell. "Particularly the one at-bat where he walked, I thought he battled inside the at-bat, took a couple of close pitches, but I thought emotionally he was well under control, good bat speed. It's one game. He looked OK."
Coyle named to U.S. Team for Futures Game
BOSTON --- Sean Coyle has replaced Mookie Betts on the U.S. Team in the 2014 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in Minneapolis on July 13.
The Red Sox called up Betts, their No. 5 prospect, on Saturday and he started Sunday against the Yankees, picking up a hit and a walk in four plate appearances. He played right field in that game and moved to center Monday, despite coming through the organization primarily as an infielder.
Coyle is not ranked among the club's Top 20 prospects in the Red Sox's organization by MLB.com, but the second baseman has hit everywhere he's been. This season for Double-A Portland, Coyle is batting .363/.444/.615 with nine homers and 12 stolen bases in 52 games.
Joining Coyle on the U.S. Team is Henry Owens, Boston's No. 1 prospect according to MLB.com. The lefty has posted a 2.25 ERA, .181 average against and 1.04 WHIP in 15 starts this season for Portland.
The game can be seen live on MLB.com and MLB Network, and followed live on MLB.com's Gameday. In addition, XM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on MLB Network Radio XM 89 and Sirius channel 209. MLB.com will also provide complete coverage before, during and after the game. Fans can stay updated by following @MLBFutures on Twitter and can send and receive tweets to and from the U.S. and World Team dugouts during the game by tagging tweets with the hashtags #USDugout and #WorldDugout.
• Right fielder Shane Victorino hasn't resumed baseball activities yet, but he's making some improvements.
"He'll do some light running today and begin to initiate some ground-based work," said Farrell. "He's been getting work in the weight room the last couple of days. Some of this inflammation and soreness that he was feeling when we shut him down, that's starting to resolve itself."
Victorino's injury that put him on the disabled list for the second time this season was a right hamstring strain, but of late, his lower back has been the problem.
"I think that one was, the issue that happened was a disk slipped," Victorino said. "Not because of my hamstring. We got it back, got the shot done and that brought a lot of relief."
"Looking back on all that, it's fine, I was moving around today a little bit. Like I said, we're going to progress accordingly and keep going."
• Why did David Ross catch Monday night's game, even though a righty Jake Arrieta was pitching for the Cubs?
"Four [a.m. ET] arrival," said Farrell of the team flight back from New York. "A.J. caught last night. That's got David behind the plate today."
• Stephen Drew took a .133 average into Monday's game, but he looks like he's getting closer to getting his timing down. In Sunday's game in New York, Drew worked a 12-pitch at-bat that ended with a flyout.
"We're seeing a balanced approach at the plate, yet there's been a number of pitches where he's missed, whether it's been pitches on the plate that he's fouled back," said Farrell. "We've seen some balls that he's squared up. I would hope that coming back here to Fenway Park and being able to use that left-field wall will help him stay on line a little more at the plate and executing his swing. He's going to get regular at-bats. We need him to get on track."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.