Remember when the Red Sox had too many starters? Now they’ve got questions about Nos. 4-6, chief among them, All-Star knuckleballer Steven Wright.
We are now closing in on six months since Wright last threw a pitch. He injured his shoulder on Aug. 6 while pinch running against the Dodgers. He returned for two starts at the end of that month before shutting it down for good.
With pitchers and catchers officially reporting and the first workout scheduled for Tuesday, the Red Sox still don’t have a healthy Wright, who continues to work his way back from an injury that didn’t require surgery, but has proven more stubborn than anyone expected.
“He’s making improvement,” manager John Farrell said on Sunday. “This has probably taken longer than he anticipated, than we certainly anticipated. He’s back throwing to 120 feet. He’s throwing flat ground right now. He still needs to continue to build some arm strength at this point in camp. We’ll get a better read exactly when everybody goes through their physicals [Monday]. We’ll get a better read of arm strengths and accurate measurements overall. If we were to take this next week and continue to build that arm strength before we get him on the mound, I don’t want to rule that out, but we’ll get a better read on that tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Wright isn’t alone in the trainer’s room. Pomeranz, who received a stem cell injection in his sore left elbow last October, isn’t ready to throw, either.
“Similar situation in terms of the timing of it all,” Farrell said. “With physicals tomorrow, we’ll get a better read, but there’s a possibility those two guys might be in a continued long toss throwing period for a week before we get them on the mound.”
Farrell wasn’t ready to declare either officially behind, noting that the early start this year, thanks to the World Baseball Classic, leaves extra time for pitchers to make their five or six spring starts.
That leaves Rodriguez, who is on Team Venezuela’s provisional roster. Team president Dave Dombrowski has already said that Rodriguez will not pitch in the first round as he continues to recover from a minor knee injury suffered during winter ball.
Farrell said the team must sign off on Rodriguez pitching in round two or beyond.
“If he’s not healthy enough, there’s something that’s clearly existing, we have the ability to override [his spot on the team],” Farrell said.