ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Tuesday figures to be a big day for three Red Sox pitchers currently sidelined with injuries:
* Eduardo Rodriguez, who Saturday took himself out of the running for a start Sunday just 19 hours before the scheduled first pitch, will test his tight left hamstring with a three-inning simulated game at Tropicana Field.
"We need him to test it at a more intense level than just a normal bullpen,” said John Farrell. "He went through normal treatment today, came out, went through a throwing program. Everything is scheduled for that sim game tomorrow. 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 to gain some comfort mentally. That's the biggest key - to go out and have that conviction over the pitches he throw.”
Farrell wouldn't commit to a timetable for Rodriguez's return to the rotation.
"I wanted to be clear with him,” said Farrell. " 'Let's focus on tomorrow and we'll slot you in when you're best ready.' Until we get through tomorrow, that question is yet to be answered.”
Rodriguez saw his last start short-circuited after four hitless innings in Baltimore last week, feeling some tightness in the hamstring.
* Steven Wright, who has missed his last two turns after jamming his shoulder sliding back into second base while being used as a pinch-runner on the team's West Coast trip earlier this month, will throw a bullpen Tuesday.
"That would line him up, providing there aren't any issues, for Friday (against Kansas City at Fenway),'' said Farrell.
Wright got skipped last week in Detroit and won't make his scheduled start Tuesday night here, once again replace by Clay Buchholz.
* Finally, reliever Koji Uehara will throw off the mound for the first time since being sidelined with a strained pectoral muscle. He's been on the DL since July 20, more than a month ago.
But Farrell stressed that this is merely a first step and that the veteran is not close to being cleared to return to the roster.
"He continues to long toss with good intensity, good length and good repetition,” said Farrell.
Given that there are only about two and a half weeks remaining in minor league regular seasons, Uehara is running out of time to have a rehab stint.
"I don't know when game action is (under consideration),” said Farrell. "But (Tuesday) is another positive step for him.”