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Could Red Sox start season with 3 starters on disabled list?

Rob Bradford
March 12, 2018 - 12:11 pm

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- It was the reason why Hector Velazquez's start Monday might actually be of some interest.

With 2 1/2 weeks left until Opening Day, there is still some uncertainty as to which members of the Red Sox's starting rotation will be ready to go. Eduardo Rodriguez (knee) just threw his first live batting practice Monday, while Steven Wright (knee) will get his initial crack at hitters Wednesday. And Drew Pomeranz? The hope is that after being derailed by his strained flexor tendon he can start getting back on his track by tossing to hitters Friday.

But as Alex Cora pointed out prior to his team's game against the Blue Jays, there are no guarantees any of them will be on the 25-man roster when the Red Sox take on the Rays on March 29.

"There might be a chance. Maybe, maybe not," said the Red Sox manager when asked about the possibility that all three pitchers start the year on the disabled list. "It’s just a matter of how it goes this week with them. Like I said, that Steven Wright hurdle is huge because of who he is. I think his arm is there, it’s just a matter of, clear this hurdle and then go from there and see what he can do. That’s a big step, and if he can clear that one, you never know. You never know what can happen. Eddy, obviously, for me, you’ve got to be patient still. For the pitcher he is and what he’s been going through the past few years, we have to make sure he’s where he should be, and like I said before, he’s been amazing. With Drew, we’ll see. It’s a day-by-day basis, but I think out of the three, honestly, looking forward to that one [Wednesday]. That’s going to let us know a lot of things. It looks like, if he can clear that one, then we’ll build it up to see where we’re going to be at the end of the month.”

Rodriguez hasn't seemed to have any setbacks, but, as Cora noted, he is the pitcher in the group the Red Sox are being most cautious with.

Pomeranz also appears to be throwing without any discomfort after being forced to leave his first Grapefruit League outing after just 17 pitches.

"We’ll have to wait and see. For how good or bad they feel, for me it’s just, I’m not going to push him just to push him," Cora said. "We understand it’s 162 games. Yeah, people say, the games count the same in April as in late September, but want them healthy and be who they are the majority of the season. So, that’s the most important thing, and that’s why you take it on a daily basis with them and we keep adding stuff or subtracting stuff from their programs."

With the trio's availability up in the air, there is now a greater focus on Brian Johnson and Velazquez. Johnson is slated to pitch in a minor-league game Tuesday, with Velazquez going again Friday after his outing against the Jays.

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