Stephen Drew was hit by a pitch in the helmet on March 7 in a spring training game against the Twins. He has been experiencing concussion symptoms since sustaining a mild concussion on that pitch, and, as per the rules and the proper concussion caution, had not performed any baseball activities since the incident. On Tuesday, Drew went to Pittsburgh to see a concussion specialist, and returned to Red Sox camp on Thursday. Good news came with him:
Stephen Drew has been cleared for baseball activity. Swinging in the cage today. No timetable for getting back into games.— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) March 21, 2013
Remember, there's a process for all of this -- the league has to clear a player who has suffered a concussion to play in a game, it can't just be the team making it happen. This is regardless of whether or not they went on the seven-day concussion disabled list, established in 2011. Drew made the trip for this reason, as he underwent MLB's concussion testing, and obviously passed.
If Drew can get back into spring training games before the the pre-season ends, he might end up back on the Red Sox roster. Thankfully, Drew can be placed on the disabled list retroactively if he isn't ready for Opening Day, so he could theoretically just miss the first game of the season. If the Sox want to make sure he can still be placed on the disabled list back to March 7, they'll keep playing him in minor-league games from here on out. Coincidentally, the Yankees are doing the same with their own shortstop, Derek Jeter, in case his ankle isn't healed enough for Opening Day.
If Drew doesn't work his way back in time, then Jose Iglesias will be the starting shortstop for Boston to begin the year. He is in the final of four option years, and since he would burn his option anyway by being sent to Triple-A Pawtucket while Drew mans short, it's not a big deal that they would have to burn the option once Drew returns to action.