FORT MYERS, Fla. — A pair of All-Stars likely to be featured on the back end could round out the Red Sox rotation this spring, behind aces David Price, Chris Sale and Rick Porcello.
Drew Pomeranz and Steven Wright, named All-Stars in 2016, come into camp about a week behind in their throwing schedules with questionable health.
“Obviously, health is going to be our main concern with these guys,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said in an interview with Scott Butherus. “With the number of days left in Spring Training, provided there are no setbacks, we’ll have ample time to get them to the mound to build up their pitch counts with a typical Spring Training.”
To start 2016, Pomeranz put up impressive numbers with the Padres. He went 8-7 with 115 strikeouts in 102 innings and a 2.47 ERA. Battling with forearm and elbow soreness, Pomeranz struggled after he was acquired by the Red Sox. He went 3-5 with a 4.59 ERA in the second half and was eventually demoted to the bullpen.
With an experimental stem cell injection to the alleviate his pain, Pomeranz is expected to throw in a bullpen session Thursday. Barring setbacks, he could face live hitters as soon as next week.
“I’m right where I expected to be,” Pomeranz said. “I’m taking it a little slower than I would like to, but [the team] laid out a plan to have me ready for the start of the season that will let me push it a little more over the next couple of weeks.”
Wright, a knuckleballer, sustained a shoulder injury while serving as a pinch-runner in the midst of a breakout season in 2016, where he went 13-6 with a 3.33 ERA. The injury cost him a spot on the team’s postseason roster.
“It felt a lot better than I thought it would,” Wright said of Tuesday’s throwing session. “It definitely gives me some energy to build off of and take into my next one.”