- An MRI of Drew Pomeranz’s left triceps didn’t reveal any new injuries, and the Red Sox lefty has been cleared to resume baseball activities, tweets Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. News on Tyler Thornburg, though, isn’t as good. The Sox are still trying to get to the bottom of the shoulder woes Thornburg is experiencing, as Evan Drellich of CSNNE.com tweets. Thornburg is set for additional testing and medical consultations this week. He has yet to take the hill since arriving in Boston via trade over the winter.
- The Nationals and Red Sox have had evaluators watching White Sox players, CBS Chicago’s Bruce Levine reports. Both clubs have been scouting Jose Quintana, while the Nationals continue to have interest in closer David Robertson, and Levine figures the Sox could also be looking at Todd Frazier to address their need at third base. Chicago already completed major trades with both teams this past winter, of course, in deals that sent Adam Eaton to Washington and Chris Sale to Boston, so there is already a great deal of familiarity between these organizations. Quintana would fill the Nats’ revolving door in the fifth starter’s spot, though obtaining Robertson to help their struggling bullpen seems like the more pressing fit. The Red Sox could use Quintana and Frazier, though they seem likely to wait to see how David Price and their internal third base options return before deciding if upgrades are necessary.
- Drew Pomeranz left today’s Red Sox loss after three innings due to tightness in his left triceps. While the southpaw’s health has been a question mark since his trade to the Sox from the Padres last summer, Pomeranz told media (including Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal) that both his triceps and his lowered velocity this season were due to a problem in his mechanics, not due to any physical issues. Pomeranz will undergo an MRI tomorrow but said he believes he can make his next start.
- The rehab start Red Sox left-hander David Price was supposed to make for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday was postponed due to rain, so he threw a 75-pitch simulated game indoors, per Scott Lauber of ESPN.com. Price will start Pawtucket’s game Friday at Triple-A Buffalo, weather permitting, and could rejoin the Red Sox if that goes well. “We’ll re-evaluate following Friday and wouldn’t rule out his return to us if everything goes according to plan,” said manager John Farrell (via John Tomase of WEEI). Price hasn’t pitched yet this season on account of an elbow issue that cropped up in early March.
The Red Sox have struggled at third base this year, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe writes. The team planned to have Pablo Sandoval as their main third baseman, a dicey proposition since Sandoval missed most of last season. The team has since lost Sandoval, Brock Holt and Marco Hernandez to injury, forcing Josh Rutledge into duty at the hot corner. Red Sox third baseman have struggled to the tune of a .237/.286/.320 line this season. Holt (vertigo) is on a rehab assignment in Triple-A Pawtucket, though, and could soon to the big leagues, as WEEI’s Rob Bradford tweets. Here’s more from the East divisions.
Red Sox infielder Marco Hernandez is weighing surgery that would probably keep him out for the rest of the season, as Tim Britton of the Providence Journal was among those to report (Twitter links). While nothing has been decided, manager John Farrell suggested that the surgical route was increasingly likely.
Hernandez, 24, has played a surprisingly important role for Boston in the early going. Before hitting the DL, he had taken sixty plate appearances while helping to fill in at third base and also seeing action at short and second. Hernandez is hitting just .276/.300/.328 over that span.
While the Sox will be disappointed to lose the flexibility represented by Hernandez, if he does indeed go under the knife, the news doesn’t come at the worst possible time. Boston has welcomed back Josh Rutledge, whose early-season absence opened the door for Hernandez, with Pablo Sandoval and Brock Holt also on the way back.
Hernandez came to Boston as the player to be named later in the deal that sent Felix Doubront to the Cubs at the 2014 trade deadline. He finally gained traction after arriving with his new organization, moving into the upper minors and then reaching the majors for the first time last year.
- Heyman also reports a pair of agency changes, noting that Red Sox top prospect Rafael Devers is now a client of Rep 1 Baseball, while Dodgers top prospect Yadier Alvarez is now repped by Wasserman. Neither has made his MLB debut yet, though both are considered among the game’s top 25 to 50 prospects and could theoretically surface in the Majors within the next calendar year or so (Devers, who is already in Double-A, appears closer than Alvarez, who has just 18 innings in High-A). Both changes are now reflected in MLBTR’s Agency Database, which contains representation info on roughly more than 2,500 Major League and Minor League players. If you see any inaccuracies or omissions, please let us know via email: email@example.com.
- Carson Smith is throwing a pair of bullpen sessions this week for the Red Sox, writes WEEI’s Rob Bradford, but fellow right-hander Tyler Thornburg doesn’t appear to be that far along. Both Smith and Thornburg were acquired over the past two offseasons in an effort to help build a bridge to Craig Kimbrel, but injuries have prevented the Sox from reaping any value from either trade. ““With Tyler, we’ll still trying to get him through some more aggressive flatground work,” manager John Farrell told reporters earlier this week. “…“It’s been a little bit of a puzzle for all involved here including Tyler, because the MRI’s that he’s gone through, while showing a little bit of an impingement, hasn’t revealed anything more structural than that.”
The Red Sox have optioned veteran righty Kyle Kendrick back to Triple-A, as Chad Jennings of the Boston Herald reports. While optional assignment waivers are no longer required for players, like Kendrick, who are more than three years away from their MLB debut, the club did need to obtain his consent to the assignment as a player with five or more years of service.
Kendrick, 32, has been hit hard in two outings for the Red Sox. Lasting just 8 1/3 innings, the righty has surrendered a dozen earned runs on 18 hits while recording just three strikeouts and issuing three walks. While he showed well in spring camp, that hasn’t carried over to the regular season. Kendrick also carries a 6.00 ERA through four starts at Triple-A.
With a need for relief pitching, the club had little recourse but to make a change. Boston has brought Robbie Ross Jr. back up to take Kendrick’s spot on the active roster. As manager John Farrell explained, an upcoming off-day buys the club some time to make rotation plans.
Given that the Red Sox kept Kendrick on the 40-man roster, rather than designating him for assignment, it seems he’ll remain an option moving forward. But the club could also elect to recall one of the 40-man starters currently working at Pawtucket while it continues to wait for David Price, who is nearing a return to the majors..
Lefties Henry Owens and Brian Johnson have both generated good results thus far, though both are carrying typical peripherals. Right-hander Hector Velazquez is pitching quite well, with just three earned runs on 11 hits over his 22 frames, though he’s not on the 40-man roster. Regardless, Boston will hope that whoever does eventually come up is only needed to keep the seat warm for Price.
Red Sox slugger Hanley Ramirez departed tonight’s contest with what the team is calling a “right trap muscle spasm,” Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald tweets. There’s no real reason to expect it’s a significant problem, though Boston will surely wish to make sure that Ramirez doesn’t rush back and end up shelved.
- While the Red Sox have been walking a fine line at third base, the team may soon have a fuller set of options, as Mastrodonato also recently reported. Pablo Sandoval is nearing a minor-league assignment now that his knee is improving. And Brock Holt is moving even faster with his symptoms of vertigo finally clearing. It’s still not exactly clear how the playing time will sort out once those two are back, but presumably they’ll join Josh Rutledge in some kind of platoon situation at the hot corner, with both Rutledge and (especially) Holt also representing options elsewhere around the diamond.
The Red Sox finally seem to have a clear path for the return of star lefty David Price, who has been working back from an elbow ailment. He’ll make his first rehab start on Sunday at Triple-A, per Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe (Twitter links).
It seems the Sox feel that Price has already done much of the preliminary build-up, as he’s scheduled to throw about five innings or 70 to 75 pitches. Assuming things go well, he’ll then look to move up from there in a second outing.
While Red Sox skipper John Farrell made clear that Price will need to make at least two rehab starts, he did suggest it’s possible he won’t need a third. If Price can push up to around 90 pitches in his second outing, he could then be activated for MLB duties, in which case he might be back in Boston before the month is over.
The first stretch of the season hasn’t been perfect for the Red Sox, but they have managed to remain in a decent position despite missing a pitcher who was expected to deliver big value from the front of the rotation. The timing is helpful, too, as Steven Wright was just lost for the rest of the year due to knee surgery.
All things considered, the club has to feel relatively fortunate in Price’s trajectory, given the somewhat worrying signals that were given when his elbow issues first came up. So long as he can return and maintain his health from here on out, at least, this absence will be looked back upon mostly as a blip.
When he does get back on the big league hill, Price will be looking to improve upon a tepid first season with the Sox. After inking a record-setting seven-year, $217MM contract in free agency, Price compiled a 3.99 ERA over 230 innings — his worst single-season earned run average since way back in 2009.