Ryan Kalish’s major league career hasn’t really gotten off the ground because of injuries. That doesn’t mean he’ll never take flight, though.
Kalish, who has been sidelined the entire season after undergoing surgery on his shoulder, is working out at the Red Sox’ spring training complex in Fort Myers, Fla. And while he isn’t ready to jump into a big league game at this point, the 25-year-old has begun swinging a bat, which represents another step in the right direction.
“Feeling pretty good,” Kalish told CSNNE.com. “Taking swings right now off the tee, which is good. I should start some flip toss on Sunday or Monday, and the shoulder feels great.
“I think it was the right decision to have the surgery as far as how I’m feeling now. I feel pretty pain-free. It’s a little sore but that’s what you’d expect after surgery. But as far as sharp pain is concerned, I feel pretty confident that it’s not coming back. I’m taking swings. Whether it’s a two-hand finish or a one-hand finish, I don’t really think about it, I just do it.”
Kalish, who has missed time because of injuries each season since 2010, was shut down last September. Then, during the offseason, he began experiencing discomfort in his shoulder, which eventually led to surgery. The whole situation is obviously less than ideal, but Kalish is happy with where he’s currently at in his rehab.
“It’s been really smooth,” Kalish reportedly said. “I was a little nervous at the beginning of the swinging process, but actually the swinging itself kind of loosened things up. I haven’t had to take any steps back yet. My throwing shoulder feels really good, which is nice, because last year even when I was playing, that was kind of barking consistently. And now it feels good.”
Kalish burst onto the scene with the Red Sox in 2010, and he was expected to become a mainstay in the Red Sox’ outfield before long. Those plans have since been altered, and it’s unclear what level of the organization Kalish will play at when he returns, but he just wants to get back on the diamond. That could come as early as mid-July, according to the outfielder.
“My main goal is to play and feel good and be consistent and be able to play on an everyday basis,” Kalish reportedly said. “What happens after that, honestly, I think a lot of people want to see, and myself I want to see if I can play this game again without going down and missing more time. Obviously it’d be awesome to help out the big league team at any point. But that’s just kind of, at this point, this year I think that’d be icing on the cake. Because I think the thing I need to do is prove to everyone and myself that I can just go out and play every day and just be a guy again.”
Kalish has remained optimistic, and he has even received some advice from a Fenway favorite.
“I’ve been talking to a couple of people, Gabe Kapler in particular gave me some good advice about the way you need to develop yourself in other areas when you have time like this,” Kalish told CSNNE.com. “So I took that to heart. He’s always kind of had my back and been a good guy for me to talk to. So I took his advice and did well with it.”
It’s been one setback after another for Kalish. He’s speeding down the runway, though, and with a confident and positive attitude, it shouldn’t be long before liftoff.