Red Sox

Uehara feels '100 percent,' could be activated Monday


Uehara feels '100 percent,' could be activated Monday

OAKLAND -- Koji Uehara had a successful live batting practice session Saturday and could be activated as early as Monday, providing the Red Sox bullpen with a boost for the final four weeks of the season.

"Today was a good work day for Koji,'' said manager John Farrell. "He threw 26 pitches. He was aggressive and there was good action to his fastball and his split. He threw some cutters in there as well. So provided he comes in (Sunday) and goes through his normal workday, we could see an activation here coming in the coming days. We're hopeful it would (happen) in San Diego."

"I threw everything, just like last time,'' said Uehara through a translator. "I feel 100 percent."

Uehara, who noted that any decision about his pending activation will be made by the team, said he has no concerns about his readiness when that happens.

"There's no worry about that part,'' he said. "I've been playing this game for a long time."

As the Sox scramble to find trustworthy set-up options for the eighth inning, Uehara's return would be welcomed. He allowed eight homers in just 36 innings before being injured, but over his last nine appearances before he got hurt, Uehara posted a 2.35 ERA.

If he could pitch near that level, he would be plenty of help to a beleaguered bullpen.

"He has the potential to be a proven closer-type of guy for us,'' said Farrell. "We know there are going to be a couple or three appearances where he's in almost a spring training mode -- low-leverage, just to get game-action under his belt, just to see how he responds."

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

David Price's Grapefruit League debut was nearly perfect.

The Red Sox left-hander pitched four scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out five in a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Fort Myers, Fla.

Price threw 55 pitches, 34 for strikes. He cruised through the first on nine pitches. He allowed the single and walk in the second.  

"It feels good. This is March 15 and I've never been able to have a four-pitch mix on March 15," Price told reporters after his start. "I've never been this far along in spring training even though I've only thrown in one game. I'm excited about that."

The Red Sox open March 29 at Tampa Bay, with Chris Sale likely to start. Price will likely pitch the second game of the season, March 30 at Tropicana Field.