It has been determined that John Smoltz would still have to wait a little while longer to see exactly when his first start with the Red Sox would be, with the only certainty being that the 42-year-old will make his next start Thursday -- either for the Pawtucket Red Sox or Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox take on the Florida Marlins at Fenway Park Thursday, while the PawSox are home that day against Charlotte. Smoltz' 30-day minor league rehab stint runs out Friday.
The Red Sox did announce that Tim Wakefield will pitch Tuesday, with Brad Penny going Wednesday, both going against the Marlins at Fenway Park. Following that series against the Marlins, which ends Thursday, the Red Sox take on the Atlanta Braves for a weekend series. Smoltz has said he would prefer that his first start didn't come against his old team, the Braves.
"We're going to leave those options open for the next week and see what happens. There's a lot of off days. I'm tickled to death to be at this point versus struggling having to figure out when I was going to return. When I return is irrelevant to me because I know I'm on the cusp of throwing the way I felt like I could throw when I had surgery.
"Everybody is on the same page. I just met with Terry and John. Again, when I signed with Boston in the offseason the reality of me coming back was up in the air. Then the reality of five guys dealing, which makes this whole process a whole lot easier. I'm the type of guy who wants to contribute really bad, but I also know I want to be at the right time and the right place and the stretch drive is so important to me I can't do anything to mess that up for me personally. To get up here and throw a game is not good enough. The timing of it, when it happens is really irrelevant. That's how good I feel about the process. So you're looking at a stretch run now of a bunch of off days, a bunch options, some things yet to be determined. It could very well be another start in Pawtucket, or it could be another start here. Either way I'm preparing to start Thursday somewhere.".
For more Red Sox updates, check out our baseball blog, "Full Count."
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