Pomeranz heads to DL
Lefty still on schedule for April 9
RED SOX NOTEBOOK
FORT MYERS — Drew Pomeranz’ spring training came to a fitting end yesterday, when the Red Sox placed the left-hander on the 10-day disabled list to begin the season.
Pomeranz has a left forearm flexor strain, a continuation of his elbow issues that led him to receive a stem-cell injection during the offseason.
Because the Sox can backdate his DL trip three days before regular-season play begins Sunday, Pomeranz can still be activated in time to make his first scheduled start, April 9, when the Sox are in Detroit for a four-game series with the Tigers.
“We’re hopeful, but certainly not guaranteeing it,” manager
John Farrell said. Pomeranz will throw a minor league game in Fort Myers on Monday in a final test before the team determines if he’s ready to compete against major league hitters.
“We still need to see some uptick in the overall stuff and continued building of pitch count,” Farrell said.
It was always a longshot that Pomeranz would be ready by Opening Day. He was two weeks behind the other starters when camp began, then suffered a setback when he left his second start early with triceps tightness.
He finished the spring having allowed 11 runs in 12 innings, walking seven and striking out eight. His velocity was also down a bit.
“I think I just need to build on what I’ve been doing, keep driving the ball to the mitt,” Pomeranz said. “You can tell by the hitters. My first few outings, they were on time with my stuff. And I fixed a couple things and the last outing and this outing (on Wednesday), a lot more balls getting on them quicker, curveball biting more. That’s what you want each time, that progression each time. I want to keep that progression going.”
Kyle Kendrick, who hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2015 but had a strong spring while on a minor league deal, will pitch a minor league game on Tuesday that would put him in line for the April 9 start in Detroit if Pomeranz isn’t ready to go.
“A dependable guy,” Farrell said. “He’s going to pitch to contact and ideally put the ball on the ground.”
The Red Sox will likely use Pomeranz’ roster spot on an extra reliever to begin the season.
“We’ve got a number of candidates,” Farrell said. “We’re obviously looking at pitchers in our camp currently. I think Monday is going to have a lot to do with that. So we’ll announce that when it’s first available.”
Sick of the flu
The flu is traveling through the Red Sox clubhouse, Farrell said, and it’s complicating roster decisions. The team is unsure when Mitch
Moreland will recover and if he’ll be ready to play first base on Monday.
“He’s still dealing with a fever,” Farrell said. “He’s out. He’s going to report straight to Boston. And what we’re finding through the number of people who have got it — (hitting coach Chili Davis) is out today because of it — some guys are coming down with a more severe degree of it where you come down with a pretty steep fever. We’re a little bit of a sickbay right now.”
Robby Scott was uncharacteristically wild yesterday and Farrell said he wasn’t sure if the lefty reliever had come down with the flu, too.
Mookie Betts, who was dealing with it earlier in the week, has mostly recovered, Farrell said.
Betts took a pitch off the arm in the 8-1 win over the Nationals, and was checked on by the training staff but stayed in the game to finish his pre-scheduled two innings of work.
“He’s fine,” Farrell said. “The ball struck him in the triceps. He had a little bit of a zinger at the time.”
The team also still needs to find a replacement for Josh Rutledge, who will start the season on the DL with a hamstring injury.
Hembree aces test
outs against right-handed hitters. Yesterday helped convince them that he might be OK against lefties, too. Hembree struck out Bryce
Harper and Daniel Murphy in a clean inning of work.
“You’re looking at two of the better left-handers in the National League and maybe all of baseball,” Farrell said. “To see a targeted need for Heath in spring training, to see it start to play out against that quality of hitter was encouraging. I think he feels a little bit more of a confidence level against left-handers with a different attack plan.” . . . Farrell still wants Hanley
Ramirez to play first base in the Detroit series.
“It all centers around his ability to throw the baseball,” Farrell said. “We’re hopeful that’s soon to take place.” . . .
The Red Sox finished 18-14-3 in Grapefruit League action while selling out every game at JetBlue Park — which they’ve done since it opened in 2012. The Red Sox know they can count on Heath Hembree to get