By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON The day is drawing near for Jed Lowries return to the Red Sox, and the shortstop checked in on his progress Wednesday while taking a day off from shoulder rehab with the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox.
Lowrie is 1-for-5 in two rehab games with the PawSox without any complications or setbacks, but has only batted from the left side of the plate in collecting at-bats and getting his timing down. Lowrie worked out with his teammates on the Fenway Park field Wednesday, but said that hell make sure hes 100 percent before coming back from the DL.
I rushed back from the last couple of injuries that Ive had, and that was a valuable lesson for me, said Lowrie, who is taking the steady approach while gaining strength in the shoulder since landing on the 15-day disabled list on June 17. I hadnt played in five or six weeks, so there soreness and some fatigue from not having played baseball. But theres been nothing unusual.
Lowrie knows hell need to play nine innings in a rehab game with a full complement of at-bats before hes ready to rejoin his teammates in Boston. He couldnt tell if that was going to happen Thursday in Pawtucket against the Buffalo Bison, but Terry Francona indicated the Sox will revisit Lowrie's situation after he plays two more games for Pawtucket.
Its a no-brainer that I need to go nine innings before I can come back, said Lowrie, who was hitting .270 with 3 home runs and 16 RBI prior to the injury.
It appears that Lowrie should confront the nine-inning hurdle at some point this weekend, and then perhaps be ready to be activated as soon as next week.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:
“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”
Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.
That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.
Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis hit three-run homers and left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched two scoreless innings to help the Red Sox win their spring training opener, 9-6, over Northeastern University on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.
Johnson, who made one spot start in his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2015 but then was derailed by injuries and anxiety issues last season, struck out three and walked one Thursday. He's expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts in 2016.
Moreland, the left-handed hitting first baseman signed to a one-year deal after spending his first seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, and Travis, a right-handed hitting first base prospect coming back from knee surgery last season, each hit three-run homers in a six-run third inning.
Pablo Sandoval, attempting to reclaim the third-base job after missing nearly all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder, went 1-for-2 with a double.
The Red Sox open Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon when they host the New York Mets at JetBlue Park.