Drew Pomeranz

Pomeranz to make Pawtucket rehab start Sunday

Pomeranz to make Pawtucket rehab start Sunday

Heading into Saturday, Red Sox starters have the best ERA in baseball at 0.86 and they're close to getting the rotation they envisioned at the start of spring training back intact.

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz, whose spring was derailed by a strained flexor tendon, will make a rehab start at Triple-A Pawtucket Sunday, manager Alex Cora said before the Red Sox' 10-3 victory over the Rays on Saturday at Fenway Park. Another rehabbing left-hander, Eduardo Rodgriuez, will make his first start of the season Sunday against the Rays. Rodriguez is coming off offseason knee surgery.

The Sox had figured on a rotation of Chris Sale, David Price, Porcello, Pomeranz and eventually Rodriguez. Cora said if Pomeranz's Pawtucket start goes well, he could re-enter the rotation next week. After an off-day Monday, the Sox host the Yankees (Tuesday-Thursday) and Orioles (Friday-Patriots' Day, April 16).  

"He’s a lot more confident right now than when I met him and talked to him in Miami in late November, early December," Cora told reporters, including WEEI's Rob Bradford, of Rodriguez. "At that point honestly, I was like, this is going to take a while. In January he did everything, showed up to Fort Myers early. He worked hard. I’ve been mentioning that trio of Chris, David and Rick. They’ve been pushing him hard. We wanted him to be part of what we’re doing. All the credit goes to him. He worked hard. Pedro Martinez, too. Being around him the first part of spring training, helped him out a lot and we’re looking forward to him pitching [Sunday]."

With fill-in starters lefty Brian Johnson and righty Hector Velazquez likely headed to the bullpen or Pawtucket (Johnson is out of minor-league options), the Red Sox will have some roster decisions to make when Pomeranz is activated. After the game Saturday, right-handed reliever Marcus Walden was sent to Pawtucket to make room for Rodriguez. 

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Red Sox moves leave Poyner as likely lefty in pen

Red Sox moves leave Poyner as likely lefty in pen

The Red Sox optioned three players, including lefties Robby Scott and Roenis Elias to Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday, leaving rookie Bobby Poyner as the leading candidate to make the team as a lefty reliever.

Infielder Tzu-Wei Lin was also sent to Pawtucket and catcher Dan Butler, infielder Iván De Jesús Jr., and outfielders Rusney Castillo and Aneury Tavárez were re-assigned to minor league camp.

Poyner, 25, dominated at Double-A Portland last season. The 14th-round pick from the University of Florida in 2015 held opponents to a .142 batting average with a .094 ERA in 27 appearances for the Sea Dogs. Poyner has an 0.96 ERA with eight strikeouts in 9 1/3 spring training innings. 

Red Sox manager Alex Corea told reporters in Florida on Saturday that left-handers Drew Pomeranz (left forearm) and Eduardo Rodriguez (offseason knee surgery) will begin the season on the disabled list, leaving Hector Velazquez, Justin Haley or Marcus Walden to make the team as the fifth starter. 

A few decisions remain with the opener approaching Thursday at Tampa Bay, including whether Blake Swihart, Brock Holt or Deven Marrero will make team as bench players. 

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Pomeranz relieved at tests showing 'mild strain'

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File photo

Pomeranz relieved at tests showing 'mild strain'

Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who complained of forearm tightness after his first spring training start on Friday, was relieved to tell reporters in Fort Myers that tests showed a "small, mild flexor strain."

"I don’t see missing myself too much time," Pomeranz said Saturday. "Today, I just came in and got a little treatment after the MRI. But then I’ll come in tomorrow and figure out what the plan is."

Actually, manager Alex Cora said after the Sox' 5-3 loss to the Yankees at JetBlue Park that Pomeranz will be reevaluated on Tuesday. "At this time we feel pretty confident he's going to be fine," Cora said. 

Pomeranz, 29, who went 17-6 with a 3.32 ERA in his first full season with the Red Sox in 2017, went through a similar situation at spring training last year when he missed time after he had a sore triceps in his first start. He began last season on the disabled list but was able to make his first start seven games into the season on April 11.

Two other Red Sox starters, Eduardo Rodriguez and Steven Wright, both coming off knee surgeries, aren't expected to be ready for Opening Day.  

"It's pretty similar to some of those [times last year]," Pomeranz said. "It's more precautionary than anything."  

Pomeranz chalked it up to his mechanics being off in his 17-pitch outing. 

"I’ve been feeling good, a little too good honestly, it worries me sometimes. But no, I’d been feeling good up to that point it’s just one of those things," he said "It’s early. My mechanics are a little off but I think it was a mechanical thing more than anything which is easy for me. A lot of times when I feel stuff like last year, I can go in the video room and point to why I’m feeling that."

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