Stephen Drew cleared to resume baseball activities

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Stephen Drew has been sidelined by post-concussion symptoms since March 7, but the Red Sox shortstop has been cleared to resume baseball activities after being examined by a specialist in Pittsburgh.

There’s no timetable for his return to game action and Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that once Drew does resume playing in games it’ll be on the minor-league side of camp so the Red Sox can potentially backdate a season-opening disabled list stint. If he were to play in a major-league spring game a DL stint could only be backdated to that point.

So good news overall for Drew, but his status for Opening Day remains in doubt and Jose Iglesias will probably be breaking camp with the Red Sox.

Red Sox to extend protective netting at Fenway Park in 2018

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The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”

Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.

After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.