FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mike Napoli is looking forward to soaking up the nuances of playing first base every day, but he's being held out of defensive drills for now.
The Red Sox are taking early precautions because of Napoli's hip condition, but the veteran should be cleared shortly after he undergoes his physical later this week.
"He's still restricted from any kind of impact or pounding," said manager John Farrell. "So right now it's a matter of him taking batting practice, keeping his arm in shape. He'll go through another MRI later this week for another update and a recheck.
"Provided everything goes as we anticipate at this point, then we'll start to introduce more baseball activities, including the defensive side, which in talking to him, he's looking forward to the reps there to gain comfort at the position. Everything is pointing towards later in the weekend or early next week that he'll be in that position."
Farrell is confident that Napoli, primarily a catcher, can make a smooth transition to first.
"What he's shown prior to signing [with Boston] is that he's got athleticism, he's got good hands and we feel he's going to be fine at first base," Farrell said.
Buchholz strains right hamstring during PFP drill
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- About 10 minutes into the first pitchers' fielding practice on Tuesday, Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz limped into the training room.
Fortunately, the starting pitcher appears to have just a mild right hamstring injury.
"Clay strained his right hamstring covering first base," said manager John Farrell. "There's no timeframe yet. He's day to day. He'll get re-evaluated tomorrow and then we'll have a better read on how many days he's going to need treatment."
The injury happened in Boston's first official team workout.
"It was towards the end of the round," Buchholz said. "Just a matter of doing all the sprints yesterday and being a little tight, I guess. Maybe I didn't stretch as much as I needed to, but lesson learned. I'll be stretching every day now, as much as I can. They said it's minimal, maybe five days or so. I'll be able to re-evaluate tomorrow, see what the soreness is like and just go from there."
Farrell is cautiously optimistic that the injury won't have much of an impact on Buchholz's Spring Training.
"Well, it's not what we drew up, I know that," Farrell said. "We'll know more tomorrow in how many days he might miss, how many bullpen sessions he might have to make up. At this point, he wasn't scheduled to make his first appearance until probably day five of the game schedule. We're not going to pin ourselves to any time frames right yet until the training staff gets their hands on him tomorrow.
"It's a mild strain in the belly of the hamstring. It's not the connective areas either up underneath the buttock or near the knee. In terms of the placement of it, it's probably the best that you could hope for in this situation. It's a matter of treatment and ultimately strength testing. And there will be some functional tests before we get him back on the field."
Bogaerts expected to play third in Classic
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Though top Red Sox prospect Xander Bogaerts is a shortstop, he will broaden his horizons when he plays for the Netherlands in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
"He'll compete to play third base with the Netherlands," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "If not, he'll get his at-bats at DH."
Farrell will make sure Bogaerts gains some comfort at the hot corner before reporting to the Classic on March 1.
"We'll get him some work at third base here," Farrell said. "We don't want to send him cold when he's been primarily a shortstop. There's going to be different angles for ground balls that he'll be exposed to, and we'll be sure he gets some workdays leading up to that."