Bummer progressing on schedule
GLENDALE, Ariz. — In a best-case scenario, left-handed reliever Aaron Bummer will be ready for the start of the regular season with no time to spare.
That was the forecast Bummer disclosed Sunday after throwing 35 pitches in his second bullpen session.
“I’ve had enough run-ins with [the training staff ] on building schedules that I trust them to put me in a position to succeed, and we’ll see where we’re at 7 to 10 days from now and 7 to 10 days after that.”
With the season opener March 30 approaching, Bummer is playing catch-up after experiencing lingering discomfort in the left shoulder/lat area that limited him to 26‰ innings last season.
Bummer doesn’t know when he’ll pitch in a regularly scheduled game.
“I’m just getting through bullpens, and we move from bullpens to simulated games, then simulated games into real games,” said Bummer, who limited left-handed hitters to a .256 slugging percentage in 2022. “I know that I’m not a starter that needs two to three innings or anything like that.”
Monday represents the Sox’ last day off before they depart for Houston following their spring finale against the Cubs on March 28. Manager Pedro Grifol plans to start playing his starters and reserves with more regularity.
That includes second baseman Romy Gonzalez, who hasn’t played since Wednesday because of what Grifol described as body soreness.
“Nothing alarming,” Grifol said.
Speed it up
The first 13 Sox games have averaged two hours, 32 minutes, not including Sunday’s 1-1 tie against the Angels that took 2:09. That pace seems normal for Grifol, who lamented the length of a few World Baseball Classic games that have lasted beyond four hours.
“I don’t know if terrible is the word,” Grifol said. “I didn’t like it. I found myself just with some dead time in my train of thought, as opposed to ‘go.’ I like ‘just go.’ I don’t like wasted time.
Since the start of spring training, Grifol has run a brisk schedule — from pregame drills to sessions with reporters.
“I don’t like dead time,” Grifol said. “If you look at our schedule, there’s no dead time. You come up with dumb stuff when you got dead time. I like the pace of the game. I really do. It keeps your mind going. You can’t miss anything. I’m talking about anything.
“You can’t miss the third-base coach. You can’t miss the hitters. You talk to your bench coach, the pitching coach. It’s quick, which is really good.”
Sox trim nine
Infielders Lenyn Sosa, Bryan Ramos and Jose Rodriguez were among the notable cuts after Sunday’s game.
Catcher Carlos Perez also was optioned, and outfielder Yoelqui Cespedes and pitchers Edgar Navarro, Nate Fisher, Andrew Perez and Sammy Peralta were reassigned to minor-league camp.
The moves leave the Sox with 50 players remaining in camp: 26 pitchers, four catchers, 12 infielders and eight outfielders.