The Red Sox seem to be getting closer to getting back to a full compliment of players as both Blake Swihart and Chris Young are getting closer to returning to the team.
Swihart suffered an ankle sprain on June 5 and hasn’t played since. The catcher-turned-left fielder suffered a bit of a set back last week, but manager John Farrell indicated the next 7-10 days would be important for him.
“He’s ramping up activities and when he first increased the intensity, there was some residual discomfort in just getting past some of the increased change in direction, straight ahead speed, so while he’s making progress, he’s not ready to go out on a rehab assignment,” Farrell said. “I would say these next 7-10 days are going to be pivotal on what the next step would be for him.”
In 19 games at the major league level this season, Swihart is batting .258.
Young, another left fielder, is also getting closer to a return.
The right-handed hitter has been on the 15-day disabled list with a groin injury since June 24, but will go on the 11-day West Coast trip beginning Thursday and start running, which will eventually lead into being ready for a rehab stint.
“He’ll be on the trip increasing the running,” Farrell said. “He’s hitting in the cage. He’s starting to hit on the field. The overall running on ground-base, that is still in the process of ramping up. By no means, he’s jogging. He hasn’t done any kind of sprint work yet. Ideally, a 11-day road trip, hopefully he’s close to getting out on a rehab assignment when we get back from that trip.”
In 48 games, the 32-year-old is batting .277.
Getting both Young and Swihart back would be important for the team as they could potentially have Brock Holt go back to his super utility role, which could prove vital as the team has a brutal schedule upcoming and could be an easy way to give players days off.
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
— Joe Kelly made his relief debut with the Red Sox on Monday allowing a run in an inning of work. Farrell isn’t exactly sure what his role will be and how many innings he will go in a given game, but did indicate he’d be available Tuesday.
“It is going to be dependent upon the number of pitches,” Farrell said. “Last night I thought was an opportunity we might be able to get a couple of innings, but after 21, 22 pitches in an inning, didn’t want to stretch him out to 40-plus. He would be available again today. It’s going to be dependent upon the number of pitches thrown and the overall state of our bullpen.”
Kelly allowed a triple to Justin Upon on a 101 mph fastball Monday, which proved once again it doesn’t matter how hard he throws, he still needs an off-speed pitch to get hitters out.
“The same thing applies in his role as it did as he was starting,” Farrell said. “His need to use secondary pitches exists. That is going to always be part of Joe’s plan for success, that he can’t just rely on just velocity because as we’ve seen the swing and miss rate is low despite upper 90s to 100 mph. It’s all part of Joe understanding who he is as a pitcher and the use of his secondary pitches is going to be key.”