CLEVELAND -- For the second straight day, John Lackey played long toss, but Thursday is a more significant day as the righty throws off the mound for the first time since straining his right biceps on April 6.
"We're planning to get him off a mound tomorrow, lightly," said manager John Farrell. "If all goes well, he would have another bullpen [session] on the weekend with some game activity shortly thereafter so he's making very good progress. There's no symptoms remaining in the biceps area and he feels really upbeat and positive with the way things stand right now."
By game activity, Farrell means that Lackey will either start a Minor League rehab assignment or pitch a simulated game.
"We haven't sat and mapped it out with him yet, so I think the one thing we've communicated clearly with John is that we want to be sure we test him as best possible before we get him back in a game at the Major League level," Farrell said. "We'll work through all that."
Alfredo Aceves again made his second start in place of Lackey on Wednesday night in Cleveland. Lackey is eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday, but he's likely a little bit behind that schedule.
With three extra-base hits, Carp makes most of start
CLEVELAND -- The forgotten man finally appeared for the Red Sox on Wednesday night as Mike Carp shook off the rust and hit the ball all over Progressive Field.
Carp, a left-handed hitter, got the nod at first base while Mike Napoli served as the designated hitter.
The only Boston player not to start in the first 13 games made up for lost time, belting two doubles and a triple in his three at-bats, helping the Red Sox notch a 6-3 victory over the Indians.
"Like I said, it's been a lot of fun watching these guys," Carp said. "I know I'll get my opportunity here and there. You've just got to be ready to go whenever you get it. I try to stay sharp, prepare myself the best way I can, and it worked out well today."
Manager John Farrell looked like a genius for deciding this was the night to get Carp in the lineup.
"I didn't know that he'd do that," Farrell said. "I just felt like he's a good fastball hitter. Again, we talked about getting a number of lefties in the lineup. You know what? He swung the bat very good. To get the base hit inside the third-base bag to start things off, he just did a heck of a job for us."
How has Carp gone about trying to stay sharp?
"I'm just trying to work on staying short in the cage. We have [first-base coach] Arnie [Beyeler] throwing BP to us, and he brings it kind of firm and gives us more of an opportunity to see a live pitcher," said Carp. "I had a [simulated] game against [Felix] Doubront the other day so I could see some live pitching. "
While Carp was in the lineup, Jackie Bradley Jr. was on the bench for the second straight game against a righty.
Bradley opened the season as an everyday player, but the club's No. 2 prospect is starting to take on a more reduced role. He is likely to go to the Minors when David Ortiz is activated, which could be as early as Friday.
"He's handled it very well, and yet if he's frustrated, we would expect that to a certain extent, but it hasn't affected his work," said Farrell. "We know he's getting challenged right now, too."
Hanrahan understands DL move, starts ramping up
CLEVELAND -- Closer Joel Hanrahan would have preferred avoiding the disabled list, but he understood why the team put him there on Tuesday. The righty has been dealing with a right hamstring injury that he first felt in the Red Sox's second game of the season at Yankee Stadium.
"It's kind of one of those in between things. I don't think four days would have been enough, but 15 will be [more than enough]," Hanrahan said. "I think 15 will be plenty of time, and if you come back too soon, it's just going to linger through the whole year. I think the 15 days will be plenty to get it all out of there and hopefully not have to deal with it again this year."
Hanrahan played catch at 75 feet on Tuesday and graduated to 90 feet Wednesday. In due time, he will probably go on a short Minor League rehab assignment before being activated. He is eligible to pitch for the Red Sox again on April 30.
Perhaps a tune-up in the Minors will help Hanrahan snap out of the funk he was in early in the season, posting an 11.57 ERA in six outings.
Though Hanrahan isn't an excuse maker, he doesn't dispute that the hamstring injury could have impacted some of his pitches, particularly his breaking ball.
"It was there a lot more on my breaking ball," Hanrahan said. "I'd throw a breaking ball and kind of aggravate it a little bit. It's a funny thing, because the arm strength and velocity are still there. It kind of effects your mechanics and being able to locate the ball. We're all strong enough that we can create velocity. Velocity without location is not going to help anybody.
"It was my decision to keep going out there. If I went out there, I felt like I could get the job done. I'm not looking for any sympathy on why things happened. It's part of our competitive nature to go out there."
But with a strong foundation in his legs, Hanrahan looks forward to showing people why the Red Sox acquired him in the first place.
"Yeah, exactly," Hanrahan said. "It's tough for a pitcher to go out there without their legs. It's something I'm looking forward to, just getting back out there. I love the game of baseball, but it gets kind of boring sitting in the dugout watching and knowing you can't do anything."
Will Hanrahan regain the closer's role as soon as he returns?
"I don't think we're sitting here today ready to make that claim," manager John Farrell said. "We've got to get through some things first -- particularly how he responds with the hamstring. He's going to need a couple of rehab appearances just to get himself going again. This is a bigger-bodied guy that is a power pitcher, and we want to be sure that he feels comfortable physically before we bring him back to us, and we'll work through that at that time."
Andrew Bailey, who has 81 saves, will hold down closing duties in Hanrahan's absence.
• Two Red Sox Minor Leaguers were suspended on Wednesday for violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Right-hander Gerson Bautista received a 50-game suspension for testing positive for Metabolites of Stanozolol. The suspension will become effective at the start of the Dominican Summer League season. Left-hander Miguel Pena also received 50 games for his second positive test for a drug of abuse. Pena, who is pitching for Class A Salem, will serve his suspension effective immediately.
• After arriving in Cleveland on Monday evening, the Red Sox had an impromptu team dinner in which 22 players showed up. The dinner happened just hours after the team learned about the tragic bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The dinner was another sign of the early-season closeness being shown by this year's club.