Carson Smith was acquired from the Mariners in the offseason prior to the 2016 campaign and was seen as part of the mix to pitch setup innings for closer Craig Kimbrel, but a spring forearm injury lingered into the season and eventually required Tommy John surgery. Boston gave up a starter in Wade Miley to acquire Smith but viewed the reliever as a key bullpen piece. On the strength of a wipeout slider, Smith was coming off a stellar 2015 in which he struck out 34.2 percent of batters faced (ranked 11th among relievers) and registered an 11.8 K/9 (12th). The right hander with the unorthodox delivery commanded the strike zone well, too, and didn't give up many home runs (two in 70 innings). There are reports that he could throw during the spring, but the smart money has Smith coming back around June.
Smith (elbow) noted that he experienced some tightness after his bullpen session a week ago, but still plans on throwing again next week, Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports. It doesn't appear that the soreness is anything out of the ordinary for Smith, who is working his arm back to full strength following Tommy John surgery in May of 2016. He's hopeful to return to game action at some point in June, but he still has many hurdles to overcome in his recovery before the Red Sox will provide a clearer timetable. Look for Smith to open the season on the 60-day DL in order to give the Red Sox a little more roster flexibility.
Smith (elbow) threw a bullpen session Friday that manager John Farrell characterized as "surprisingly good," Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. Smith showed good action and velocity, but Farrell tempered his excitement, noting there can be peaks and valleys for pitchers coming back from Tommy John surgery. The timeline for his return hasn't changed; Smith is expected to come back in June.
Smith threw 15-18 pitches off a mound for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery last May, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports. Although he's still a ways from returning to live action, it's good to see the 27-year-old taking the next step in his recovery. Smith will continue to move slowly through the process, and will likely find himself staying back in Florida to face live batters in extended spring training before he enters a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Smith (elbow) will throw off a mound next Monday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery last May, Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com reports. The 27-year-old Smith has been throwing off flat ground out to 120 feet and is now ready to check the next box in his recovery. He'll throw only fastballs during his first mound work before progressing to his changeup and slider. Once he throws all of his pitches off a mound, Smith will likely stay back in Florida to face live batters in extended spring training followed by a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Smith (elbow) is throwing out to 120 feet and is scheduled to throw off a mound in the next 10-to-14 days, Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. Red Sox manager John Farrell indicated earlier this spring that he was shooting for Smith to be on a mound by mid-March, so it looks like he's still on schedule. The conventional wisdom has Smith returning to the majors by June.