Stephen Drew expected to rejoin Diamondbacks next Wednesday

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Stephen Drew hasn’t played in a major league game since undergoing right ankle surgery 11 months ago, but he’s finally close to rejoining the Diamondbacks’ lineup.

Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers said on Arizona Sports Radio 620 earlier today that the team is hopeful that Drew will be activated from the disabled list next Wednesday.

Drew began his rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno earlier this month and is hitting .250 (8-for-32) with two homers, five RBI and an .865 OPS over eight games. The 29-year-old shortstop was eased into game action initially, but he recently began playing in back-to-back games. He is scheduled to leave the team for a couple of days following a death in the family, but Towers said he should join Double-A Mobile on Sunday to resume his rehab assignment.

“Probably Sunday/Monday hopefully Mobile for two days, Tuesday recovery day, and hopefully Wednesday he’s activated in Atlanta,” Towers said.

Drew is a .270/.330/.442 hitter over his first six seasons in the majors. He’ll be a welcome addition to the lineup, although Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson recently suggested that he expects to give him regular rest upon his return.

There’s a pretty good chance that this will be Drew’s final season with Arizona, as neither side appears likely to exercise his $10 million option for 2013 and Diamondbacks managing general partner Ken Kendrick recently expressed frustration about his lengthy rehab process.

Anthems, first pitches and other ceremonial stuff

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The World Series is not just about the baseball. It’s about the bigger-than-usual stars singing the National Anthem, the more-famous-than-usual people throwing out the first pitch and all of the assorted to-do which surrounds the ballgames. Here is that sort of stuff for Game 1 and Game 2 in Boston.

First pitches:

  • Carl Yastrzemski will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 1. Yastrzemski also threw out the first pitch of Game 1 in 2004, 2007 and 2013. The Red Sox won each of those games and each of those World Series so, yeah, go with what works, right?
  • Members of the 2004 World Series Champions will throw the ceremonial first pitch of Game 2. It doesn’t say which members, so maybe my dream of Manny Ramirez doing it will work out after all. Hey, he played for the Dodgers too, so let’s make this happen, OK?

National Anthems:

  • Singer-songwriter James Taylor will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of Game 1. This morning Peter Gammons tweeted that Taylor’s family helped build Fenway Park. Let’s file that under “interesting, but not so interesting that it’s really worth tracking down to confirm, so why not believe it?” Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.
  • For Game 2 the National Anthem will be performed by the Boston Pops, with the Tanglewood Chorus and the Boston Symphony Children’s Chorus doing the singing. The Boston Pops are conducted by Keith Lockhart, who was a career .287/.354/.425 hitter in 37 postseason games with the Atlanta Braves. I mean, at least I’m pretty sure it’s the same Keith Lockhart. Again: not interesting enough to check so, like Gammons’ thing about James Taylor, let’s assume I’m right about this.

Play ball.