BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox weren’t forced to deal with too many injuries in 2013. Right now, it looks like everyone will be ready to rock and roll for Opening Day in 2014.
The Red Sox dealt with a few sporadic injury issues last season, and a few players were banged up toward the end of Boston’s successful World Series run. Red Sox manager John Farrell said Tuesday, however, that the players who dealt with ailments are making progress this winter, and there don’t appear to be any lingering injury issues that should be of great concern with spring training just a few weeks away.
Andrew Miller is coming back from a season-ending foot injury that he suffered in July, Dustin Pedroia underwent offseason thumb surgery, Shane Victorino underwent offseason wrist surgery and Clay Buchholz dealt with neck/shoulder issues for much of last year, including during the postseason. Farrell provided updates on each player while talking with reporters before Tuesday’s Hot Stove Cool Music Baseball Roundtable at Fenway Park.
Farrell’s updates are below.
On Pedroia (thumb)
“I know Dustin’s already begun dry swings. He feels strong and feels stable. He feels that stability throughout the entire swing. Granted, it’s dry swings. But he’s right on track as far as all baseball activity relates coming out of the surgery. We fully expect him to be ready to go Opening Day.”
On Victorino (thumb/wrist)
“We still expect him to be Opening Day ready as well. He’s a little bit further behind Dustin in terms of the time frame of baseball activities, but I think he’s about two weeks away from putting a ball in his hand and starting to throw. We’ll take every available day in spring training, and he’ll be on the field when he’s fully ready.”
On Miller (foot)
“He should be full-go once we get to camp. All agility work, all explosive-type movements. There’s no lingering effects of the surgery that he went through, so that will be a welcome addition to getting him back, the way he was throwing the baseball for us.”
On Buchholz (neck/shoulder)
“He’s gotten back to full health and strength. He was in here last week, just to get some baseline testing and see where he was in full range of motion, and there’s no issues there. He’s in the long toss portion of the throwing program. It’s likely he gets on the bullpen mound once he reports to Florida right after the first of February. We fully expect him to be opening series ready when we start.”
On getting additional rest for starters/relievers after long season
“What we’re likely to do with the starters and relievers that pitched a bulk of the innings last year is probably make those starters make their first appearance maybe one turn later than normal [during spring training] and look to bring [Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara] along a little bit toward the end of the first third of games scheduled down in camp, just to try to buy some time physically for all those guys.”