ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Steven Wright threw a bullpen Sunday and for the first time since injuring his right shoulder felt no pain. He tossed a bit on the mound at Tropicana Field Monday and, once again, was pain-free.

Now comes the final test.

Steven Wright

Steven Wright

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Steven Wright threw a bullpen Sunday and for the first time since injuring his right shoulder felt no pain. He tossed a bit on the mound at Tropicana Field Monday and, once again, was pain-free.

Now comes the final test.

Tuesday Wright will throw an extended bullpen session, simulating the ups and downs of a game. If that goes like the previous two days, then he will be returning to the rotation. Specifically, the knuckleballer is tentatively slated to start for the Red Sox against the Royals, Friday night at Fenway Park.

“It feels normal,” Wright said. “I’m just trying to get my release point back. If everything progresses the way it’s been, I see no reason why I wouldn’t be ready to pitch.”

Wright hasn’t pitched since Aug. 5, when he threw a complete game, three-hitter against the Dodgers. Two days later, the righty was injured when diving back into second base while serving as a pinch-runner.

For the season, Wright is 13-5 with a 3.01 ERA.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — While Koji Uehara has seemingly started to recover quicker than anticipated from the right pectoral strain that put him on the 15-day disabled list July 20, the Red Sox have made it a point to reel in the optimism most of the time.

Koji Uehara

Koji Uehara

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — While Koji Uehara has seemingly started to recover quicker than anticipated from the right pectoral strain that put him on the 15-day disabled list July 20, the Red Sox have made it a point to reel in the optimism most of the time.

But, with Uehara slated to throw off a mound for the first time since his injury, Tuesday afternoon, the idea of the 41-year-old returning to help this season is looking more realistic than ever.

“I don’t know when game action is even projected at this point. [Tuesday] is another real positive step for him,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. We’ll see. In the past Koji has gone through good years and been very productive when he’s had minimal spring training, if at all. I don’t want to discount the need for some game action, but the fact that he’s getting back to the mound is a good thing.”

Uehara hasn’t pitched since walking off the mound when pitching to his second batter in the Red Sox’ July 19 game against the Giants.

Prior to his injury, he had been pitching better, going four straight outings without allowing a run. For the season, Uehara’s ERA stands at 4.50, having converted six of eight save chances.

Detroit starter Anibal Sanchez, one of the few pitchers to experience the same injury as Uehara, offered some insight in recovering from the ailment when talking to WEEI.com’s Ryan Hannable.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Eduardo Rodriguez admitted Sunday was not one his better days.

Eduardo Rodriguez (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Eduardo Rodriguez (Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Eduardo Rodriguez admitted Sunday was not one his better days.

“Yeah, because I know it was partly my fault,” the Red Sox pitcher said of his team’s 10-5 loss to the Tigers, in which replacement starter Henry Owens was roughed up for eight runs in five innings. “I was supposed to pitch that game. I feel bad but I have to get ready for the next one.”

The lefty started that process of returning from his hamstring issue while at Tropicana Field prior to Monday night’s game, throwing about 70-80 percent effort level off the mound in the visitors’ bullpen under the watchful eye of pitching coach Carl Willis. Tuesday, he will continue the process by tossing a three-inning simulated game.

The way things are going, Rodriguez, and Red Sox manager John Farrell, both sound like the plan is for the pitcher to make his next start, although that has yet to be scheduled. The optimism is, however, remains dependent on Tuesday’s exercise.

“We need to test him at more intense levels when compared to a normal bullpen,” Farrell said. “He went through treatment today, went out, went through a throwing program, everything is scheduled for that sim game tomorrow. So more than anything, it’s not so much to answer the physical side of it, but it’s for him to test it at a higher intensity and for him to gain some comfort mentally — that’s the biggest key, to go out and have that conviction to pitches to be thrown.”

And that brings us to the biggest issue: the mental side of the equation.

The way Rodriguez explained it, the reason for the (as Farrell described it) “second thoughts” was because of a lack of confidence that his hamstring would hold up. It was a mindset that lingered from his June 27, 2 2/3-inning, nine run outing at Tropicana Field, during which he couldn’t shake the concern over his injured right knee.

“The thing is I had that experience before with my knee. I went out there and was just thinking about my knee and when I threw the ball, remember what happened here? I gave up nine runs because I was thinking of my knee and every pitch was right down the middle,” he said. “I don’t want to think about it. Because I had that experience before with my knee.

“I want to feel 100 percent. And I don’t want to think about it. Like I do right now, now I’m not thinking about my knee and I just throw the ball so I can get 100 percent and I’m not thinking about it.”

So what happened in the days leading up to Sunday’s scheduled start, when he ultimately told Farrell at 5:45 p.m. Saturday that he wasn’t ready to go?

Initially, there were the questions from the coaching staff following the shortened start Tuesday night in Baltimore.

“They ask me and I just said, ‘I’m good and I’ll keep working, get that 100 percent and get back on it,'” Rodriguez said.

And then Friday?

“I said I was good because I had one more day,” he said.

But in the end, the pitcher found himself to be a bit too optimistic, leading to the Red Sox have to fly in Owens the morning of his Sunday afternoon start.

“I was getting better,” Rodriguez said, “but four days is too short.”

Now, with the lessons learned, Rodriguez and the Red Sox turn to Tuesday. He explained his hamstring, “not painful like it was like the day after. It’s just tight.” But it’s good enough to give it a whirl in the simulated game.

“I threw today and it felt pretty good,” he said.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox are starting to get healthier.

The team activated outfielder Chris Young off the 15-day disabled list Monday, sending pitcher Henry Owens to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room on the 25-man roster.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox are starting to get healthier.

The team activated outfielder Chris Young off the 15-day disabled list Monday, sending pitcher Henry Owens to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room on the 25-man roster.

Young has been on the disabled list since June 24 with a right hamstring injury. He played in seven rehab games with the PawSox, going 5-for-23 (.217) with a pair of doubles, playing in left field four times.

Before the injury, Young had proven useful in the Sox’ lineup, particularly against lefty pitchers. The 32-year-old owns a 1.042 OPS vs. southpaws this season.

It remains to be seen how John Farrell uses Young, with the Red Sox manager recently insinuating Andrew Benintendi would not sit against all lefty pitchers.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Red Sox are starting to get healthier.

The team activated outfielder Chris Young off the 15-day disabled list Monday, sending pitcher Henry Owens to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room on the 25-man roster.

Young has been on the disabled list since June 24 with a right hamstring injury. He played in seven rehab games with the PawSox, going 5-for-23 (.217) with a pair of doubles, playing in left field four times.

Before the injury, Young had proven useful in the Sox’ lineup, particularly against lefty pitchers. The 32-year-old owns a 1.042 OPS vs. southpaws this season.

It remains to be seen how John Farrell uses Young, with the Red Sox manager recently insinuating Andrew Benintendi would not sit against all lefty pitchers.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford

Drew Pomeranz doesn’t look or sound injured, but that’s not going to stop the controversy.