It may not seem like it thanks to their fast start to the season, but the Boston Red Sox are still missing some key components to their team. Dustin Pedroia, Tyler Thornburg and Steven Wright have each seen no time at all this year thanks to injuries, and Xander Bogaerts has been on the DL for almost 2 weeks now.
Pedroia had offseason knee surgery after missing nearly 60 games at the of the 2017 season. He’s currently down at extended Spring Training in Ft. Myers, Florida working his way back to health. Although still a ways away from returning to the big club, Pedroia has been clearing every benchmark in his recovery. He’s participating in workouts like taking ground balls, all in a controlled environment. Alex Cora and the rest of the Red Sox staff have chosen to be very cautious with Pedroia, affording him ample time to fully recover, so there’s still no concrete timetable for his return, although it’s expected he’ll be back by the end of May.
Tyler Thornburg is a very exciting player for the Red Sox. After enjoying a solid 4 years in Milwaukee with the Brewers (including an almost dominant 2016), he missed all of 2017 after being acquired via trade by the Red Sox with a shoulder injury. He’s been down in Florida with Pedroia, but is expected to fly to Boston on Friday to meet the team for its weekend home stand, where he’ll likely throw live BP, which is often one of the final hurdles for a pitcher returning from a long-term injury. Expect to see him back in uniform within the next couple weeks.
Steven Wright, the knuckleballer who was so impressive in 2016, posting 13 wins and a 3.33 ERA, threw 61 pitches before exiting his first rehab start for AAA Pawtucket with back stiffness. Alex Cora has said that Wright will stay in Pawtucket for now, but his timetable for return is uncertain at this point. Whenever he returns to the Red Sox, Wright will still have to serve a 15-game suspension for violating the MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.
In other news, Bobby Poyner, who had surprised many with his 2.57 ERA in 6 appearances this year, was optioned back to AAA to clear room for Drew Pomeranz, who made his return to the team on Friday.