Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel is recovering well from July 11 left knee surgery and, in a best-case scenario, could return in the first few days of August, reports Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. On the other hand, fellow late-game option Koji Uehara isn’t a lock to pitch again in 2016. The 41-year-old hit the disabled list with a pectoral strain Wednesday and received a platelet-rich plasma injection Thursday, and manager John Farrell said Saturday that the Red Sox are “hopeful” he’ll return this season. Uehara won’t throw again for an undetermined amount of time. It stands to reason that his absence could galvanize the Red Sox to address their bullpen even further around the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline. They already picked up Brad Ziegler in a deal with Arizona earlier this month.
More from Boston and two other AL cities:
- Regardless of what happens with their bullpen, the Red Sox continue to hunt for starting pitchers, per Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald. They’ve already checked in on White Sox ace Chris Sale and the Rays’ Chris Archer, though it was merely due diligence in the case of the latter, a source told Drellich. With David Price, Steven Wright, Rick Porcello and the recently acquired Drew Pomeranz in the fold, at least 80 percent of Boston’s rotation appears set, and the Wild Card-leading club has gotten back-to-back strong performances from 23-year-old southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez.
- Injuries have beset Mariners left-handed pitching prospect Danny Hultzen in recent years and will likely force him to retire at 26, writes Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. Hultzen, who peaked entering 2012 as a top 25 prospect by the standards of both MLB.com (16th) and Baseball America (21st), hasn’t pitched regularly since 2013 because of shoulder issues that continue to persist. Hultzen could next find an off-the-field role with the Mariners, according to Dutton.
- The Tigers haven’t discussed a contract extension with manager Brad Ausmus, GM Al Avila revealed Saturday. Despite that, Avila said, “I think he’s done a good job this year” (Twitter links). Ausmus’ Tigers are 51-46, 2 1/2 games out of a Wild Card spot, and 215-205 since he took the reins in 2014. Detroit has a 2017 option for Ausmus, so the team’s not at risk of losing the 47-year-old this offseason if it wants to retain him.