Kalish: 'It's been a tough year'

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Kalish: 'It's been a tough year'

SEATTLE -- After undergoing two separate surgical procedures last off-season -- one on his neck last September; a second on his left shoulder last November -- Ryan Kalish thought he was through with the tedious rehabilitation process.
As it turns out, there's more work to come. But Kalish knows it's the only way he can return to 100 percent health and re-start his career.
Following the two surgeries, Kalish essentially missed most of spring training and didn't play in a game until May. He was called up to the big leagues in June, but since then, his 2012 has been a back-and-forth exercise between the minors and majors and between feeling well and feeling injured again.
Even now, a full year removed from the first surgery, Kalish's availability is day-to-day.
"Every day's a little different,'' said Valentine. "A lot of times, it's after he (takes batting practice) that we know (whether he can play that day). It's a real fine line. When he feels great, I don't mind playing him. When he feels less than great, I feel guilty playing him.''
Kalish is dedicated to finding the proper rehab program this off-season to get healthy, once and for all.
"This is my chance to get back to the old me -- the strong, athletic guy that just comes into camp ready,'' said Kalish. "I feel weak right now. My body is tired. These two things intertwined. I need a break.''
For now, Kalish goes about trying to get ready every day. It has not, he admits, been easy.
"It's just tough to keep (the left shoulder) strong,'' he said. "Then, in the midst of all that, I've had a little bit of neck pain; my right shoulder overcompensates and now that's tired. We're going to continue to grind (for the final month) as much as I can help out there.
"But I'm really, really excited to get down to a little bit of rest and recovery and a strong workout plan.''
The hard part is acknowledging that he has essentially lost two years of development time. At this point, the Red Sox expected he would be part of their everyday outfield alignment; instead, Kalish waits to see if he's physically up to playing.
"It's been a tough year,'' he said. "I kind of feel like it's been two years (that he's missed). But I'm confident in my abilities. If I'm healthy, I don't think much can stop me. But that remains to be seen.''
And will only be seen after another off-season of rest, and yes, more rehab.

Chris Sale not concerned about which starter is Red Sox' ace

Chris Sale not concerned about which starter is Red Sox' ace

Trenni sits with Chris Sale and David Price during spring training in Fort Meyers.

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mitch Moreland knows he's likely the only new player in Boston's lineup since David Ortiz retired at the end of last season.

He's just not listening to those who say he needs to replace Big Papi's lofty production.

"I try not to hear it because there's no replacing that guy," said the 31-year-old first baseman, who signed a one-year, $5.5-million deal with the Red Sox during the offseason.

"I think it's going to be more of a team effort," he said. "Obviously we picked up two big arms as well, and it's a very balanced club."

After playing his first six-plus seasons in the majors with the Texas Rangers, Moreland is with a new organization for the first time in his career. So far, he said, the move has been smooth.

"They welcomed me from Day One," he said. "Handshakes and hugs right off the bat. It's going to be a lot of fun. You can see why they had so much success last year."

Coming off a subpar 2016 with a .233 batting average, 22 homers and 60 RBI, Moreland tested free agency. He wanted to go to a team that had a good chance at competing for a championship -- like he felt with the Rangers.

"Something that was at the top of my list as a player," he said. "If I was going to be on a team, I wanted a team that had a chance to win. It makes it that much more fun to come to the park every day when something's on the line and you're fighting for a chance to play in the playoffs, fighting to win the division and fighting to win a World Series."

A first-time Gold Glove winner last season, Moreland knows the defending A.L. East champion Red Sox wanted his defensive skills at first to allow Hanley Ramirez to shift to Ortiz's vacated DH spot.

"It gives you a little more confidence," Moreland said. "I take pride in that. That's going to be my main goal, to go out and show what they saw."

A left-handed batter like Ortiz, Moreland knows some people will expect him to fill the void offensively because of which side of the plate he bats from.

"I think it'll be a group effort picking up what will be missing," he said. "There's no replacing that guy."

Manager John Farrell also said the club needs to move on from Ortiz so Moreland and everyone else can relax and focus on their own game.

"David's effect on the lineup was felt by a number of people. We know opponents would game plan for David," Farrell said. "I think it's important for our guys - as we put David out of our mind, in a good way - that it's still a focus on what their strengths are in the strike zone."

The transition may be easy for Moreland so far, but one thing has certainly changed: spending spring training in Florida instead of Arizona.

"Fishing's a lot different than Arizona, so that's nice," he said.

NOTES: "We're getting a firsthand look to why he's been so successful and an elite pitcher," Farrell said after left-hander Chris Sale pitched batting practice. The Red Sox acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox in an offseason trade for four prospects. They also acquired right-handed, hard-throwing setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee . . . Farrell said righty Steven Wright, who missed the final two months of the season with a shoulder injury, "was unrestricted in his throwing." . . . The Red Sox will have a shorter workout Tuesday with the players association set to talk to the team and the organization's annual charity golf tournament in the afternoon.