Red Sox

Red Sox notes: Bailey looking good in rehab appearances

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Red Sox notes: Bailey looking good in rehab appearances

BOSTON Just as Vicente Padillas injury has left the Red Sox with a hole in the middle portion of their bullpen, help appears to be on the way in the form of Andrew Bailey.

The Sox right-handed reliever has yet to throw a pitch for the Sox this season, but has piled up some excellent rehab appearances including back-to-back games for Pawtucket on Wednesday and Thursday.

Bailey pitched one clean inning with a strikeout on Wednesday night for the PawSox, and registered two more Ks in another inning of work Thursday afternoon for Bostons Triple-A ballclub. Bailey is scheduled for another rehab inning of work for Pawtucket on Sunday, and the Sox staff will then begin to formulate a more concrete plan for when he could join Bostons bullpen.

If we dont have Padilla then Bailey could be pretty important for that role, said Valentine. Bailey had good velocity, they liked his cutter and he threw his curveball once or twice.

Hell pitch Sunday. Its hard to make a decision from Cleveland, but well try to collect all of the data. Well see how he feels. Id rather see him get a couple of outs and then pitch another inning, but well see.

Bailey has struck out nine and given up one run in five innings of rehab work while attempting to get off the 60-day disabled list following thumb surgery.

Sox manager Bobby Valentine said theyd like to see Bailey work a partial inning, cool down in the dugout and then return to the mound as one of the final hurdles before declaring him healthy. So Bailey may be in line for at least one more rehab appearance beyond Sunday, but Valentine indicated the medicaltraining staff reports will weight heaviest factoring into the decision.

The Sox are anticipating his return sooner rather than later given Padillas injury, and their move to deal away right-handed reliever Matt Albers in favor of lefty specialist Craig Breslow.

Early, middle and lately weve had to lean on the bullpen. Its a little bit of a different mix out there since Breslow has gotten here. Albers was an inning-plus right-hander and he was replaced by Breslow, who is an inning or less left-hander. Its a little bit of a different mix.

Valentine cited Junichi Tazawa and Matt Melancon as righties that should benefit with greater workloads in the absence of Albers. But it will eventually come down to Bailey as the power-armed guy slamming the door in the latter innings along with closer-of-the-present Alfredo Aceves.

Valentine said Josh Beckett was feeling good in all the important areas back, shoulder and psyche after throwing 86 pitches and getting bombed for eight runs in Wednesday afternoons loss to the Texas Rangers. The good news was that he was feeling healthy, and the even-better news was that Valentine expected the righty to be better in his next start after back spasms through off his normal routine.

We had Mike Reinold in today and like we mentioned in the postgame yesterday he sometimes doesnt have quite have his touch after a long rest, said Valentine. But the next time he does, and we hope thats the case. He had no after effects in his back or his shoulder. His legs felt strong throughout the game.

Adrian Gonzalez was giving the "Golden Tee" arcade game in the visitor's clubhouse a workout prior to Thursday night's game, but shockingly "Big Buck Hunter" went unmanned.

Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

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Tyler Thornburg wants a normal spring, but don't be surprised if it's bumpy

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Don’t confuse the goal of a normal spring training with the likelihood one will follow.

Tyler Thornburg’s time with the Red Sox has been an ordeal. He’s optimistic he can have a regular spring training after undergoing surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome in June, a surgery that included the removal of a rib which is now on display at his parents’ house. 

He said Saturday, in fact, there’s a “very good chance” of a normal spring. But there’s also a chance his build up to regular-season form runs unevenly. And that would be OK.

“I started throwing Oct. 2, that’s when they kind of gave me the go-ahead to go tossing,” Thornburg said Saturday at Winter Weekend. “So I’ve been building up slowly since then, just trying to make sure we don’t have any setbacks or things like that, and ramp it up at a good pace. I’m throwing at 120-140 feet, so it’s about the pace I’d normally be on, granted I’d know 100 percent before where I was [under normal circumstances]. So things could be a little different."

Consider a few other things Thornburg said Saturday at Foxwoods.

“I don’t really think any of us really know how quick I’m going to bounce back necessarily as far as how quickly the recovery’s going to go in spring training after an outing,” Thornburg said. “But hopefully I mean it’s fantastic, and we can kind of just keep going.”

A bit of natural uncertainty. He missed an entire season, and the reason he missed an entire season is had a lot going on medically. 

What appeared to be a shoulder injury was far from your usual, say, rotator cuff matter. His was a nerve issue.

“Two of the neck muscles were incredibly hypertrophied, like overgrown, and they just started squeezing on the brachial plexus, where all the nerves run down,” Thornburg said. “I’d be sitting there watching a game and just a nerve thing would hit me and I’d almost get knocked over by it. As well as the first rib was getting pulled up and my hand would just turn red some days if I was just standing there, cutting off the blood circulation. Then all the scar tissue and buildup along the nerves they had to go and dissect all that off there.”

So the injury wasn’t simple, and now, the recovery process is really a whole body matter. 

"There’s a lot off things your arm has to get used to between using different muscles, as well as my arm was kind of working through a scenario where it was trying to overcompensate for this and [trying] to relieve that,” Thornburg said. “So just worked a different way. Now your body has to remember how to actually properly work again. It’s a lot of neuromuscular stuff.”

Thornburg noted the possibility too he could be ready to go to start the season but not really ready to go back to back yet. Would the Sox then carry him on the big league roster, or continue to build him up elsewhere? 

Velocity won’t be there right away for Thornburg, he said: “But I mean that’s what spring training is for for most guys anyway.”

There’s a lot of optimism, but naturally, there’s a lot to be seen. 

“The rehab process, it's been a massive rollercoaster,” Thornburg said. “It really has. But I mean, I've been trying to take it week to week which has been a lot easier. There's the good days and bad days, just different kinds.”

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Kimbrel's newborn daughter treated in Boston for heart condition

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Kimbrel's newborn daughter treated in Boston for heart condition

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Coming off a phenomenal season, Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel spent the offseason in Boston. Not to be closer to Fenway Park, but for proximity to something far more important: the city’s first-rate medical community.

Kimbrel’s daughter, Lydia Joy, was born in November with a heart issue.

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“It’s been a lot,” Kimbrel said Saturday at Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods. “My wife and I, we’ve kept it kind of private. But when she was born, she had some heart defects so we decided to stay in Boston and work with Children’s Hospital and just been going through that ordeal and it’s had its ups and downs but she’s doing great right now."

Focusing wasn't always easy in season, but Kimbrel said his daughter's condition has motivated him even more.

“They always say when you have a child, things change and they have," he said. "I’m definitely more focused towards her and her needs and our family needs. It’s just one day at a time and give everything I got. It’s real easy to look at her and understand everything I’m doing is for her and it makes it a lot easier.”

Kimbrel and his wife, Ashley, found out early in the 2017 season that they would be staying in Boston for the winter and were preparing.

“Everything has kind of gone as planned so far,” Kimbrel said. “She’ll have another surgery during spring training, so I’ll come back to Boston for a week and do that, but it’s been good. It’s definitely been tough, but one of the happiest, joyful times of our life.”

"Being in Boston, we feel blessed, because the doctors are the best in the world. Being able to work with them has been great.”

Kimbrel said his wife has stayed in touch with Travis Shaw’s wife. The Shaw family has had a similar experience, Kimbrel said.

“It seems like they’re doing pretty good,” Kimbrel said. “It’s been very encouraging to see.”

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