Red Sox

Wright plays catch again, remains unlikely to pitch in regular season

Wright plays catch again, remains unlikely to pitch in regular season

BOSTON - Steven Wright played catch for the second straight day without any restrictions or discomfort, an encouraging sign even as the calendar continues to work against his return this season.

MORE SOX PITCHING: Carrabis: 'I'd choose E-Rod as third playoff starter / McAdam: Wouldn't put Buchholz in playoff rotation just yet

"Given where we were three days ago,'' said John Farrell, "this is tremendous progress. He's not feeling anything right now, so we're still on tap for him to go to Fort Myers once this homestand concludes. How concentrated that throwing program can be advanced and maintained, that remains to be seen.

"But the fact that he's got a ball back in his hands, that's the obvious first step. How quick it gets into long-toss and ultimately, off a mound, that's still day-to-day.''

 "To just go out there and play catch is huge,'' said Wright. "I threw from 60 feet, maybe 35 pitches. In my mind, I'm just going to take it...not slow, but I want to condition the arm path and muscle memory and  get all that going. Once that gets kind of repetitive, then we can start [looking ahead]. Because the strength is there; it's just making sure that everything is functional.''

With just over two weeks remaining in the regular season, it would seem unlikely that Wright will pitch before the final day on the schedule, Oct. 2.

Then again, if he continues to make progress, he could put himself in position to contribute in the postseason.

"I would say it's safe to say [the regular season is likely out of the question],’’ Wright said. "There's only so many days left. If everything goes perfectly, there's probably still a chance. But I don't think we're going to push it and risk any more setbacks.

 "I wouldn't say yes, but I wouldn't say no. It's one of those things where I'm trying so hard to keep it day-to-day. Last time, I wanted to get back as fast as I could and we cut a lot of corners to do that and then we had a setback. So we've got make sure everything progresses.''


Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

File photo

Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel returned to Fort Myers on Sunday after his 4-month-old daughter underwent successful heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Red Sox are confident he'll be ready for Opening Day.

“Oh, yeah. Plenty,” manager Alex Cora replied when asked if Kimbrel had time to get ready for the March 29 opener against the Rays in St. Petersburg. “With him it’s a different schedule, anyway. He’ll be ready.”

Kimbrel's daughter, Lydia Joy, was born with a heart defect. He left the team Feb. 28 to be with her and his family in Boston, but pitching coach Dana Levangie said Kimbrel was on a pitching program during that time.

“The most important thing is that the family is okay with [Kimbrel returning to the Sox],” Cora said. “If they’re okay with it, we’re okay with it.”

The Baseball Show Podcast: Should we be confident in the Red Sox rotation?

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The Baseball Show Podcast: Should we be confident in the Red Sox rotation?

0:21 - With less than two week before the beginning of the 2018 season, the Red Sox don’t have all of the answers for their rotation. Lou Merloni and Evan Drellich project their Opening Day rotation and discuss the lack of depth in it.

4:39 - Will Boston’s version of the ‘Killer B’s’ return in full force this season? Lou and Evan analyze the performances of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi.

10:07 - Buy or sell? John Farrell will find another managerial position this season; J.D. Martinez will have a better season than Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton; Dave Dombrowski has put the best possible team out there for 2018.