Kyle Schwarber was scheduled to begin his rehab assignment Thursday with Triple A Worcester but their game against host Syracuse was postponed because of rain. The WooSox are scheduled to play a doubleheader Friday at Worcester.
After missing more than a month because of a hamstring injury and being set back by a groin injury after joining the Red Sox before the trade deadline, the Sox aren’t expecting his assignment to be a long one.
“We’ll see after the game tonight how he feels, and we will talk about it,” manager Alex Cora said before the rainout. “It looks like it’s going to be sooner or later.”
Before the groin injury, the Sox had been getting Schwarber reps at first base, but Cora didn’t see it as necessary for Schwarber to play first base during his rehab assignment.
“That’s still the plan,” Cora said. “But I think, offensively, is a plus for this team and we’ll find ways, whenever he is here, to get him in the lineup. We’ll move people around.”
Beyond a torrid June stretch in which Schwarber hit 12 homers in 10 games, Cora believes Schwarber’s bat can provide a boost for the Sox lineup, particularly against righthanded pitching. Schwarber is a career .241 hitter with 130 homers against righties.
“Obviously, he has power but at the same time, you know, he walks, he gets into deep counts,’' Cora said. “So it’s somebody that we’re looking forward to having and I do believe our offense is going to be a lot better when he gets into.”
Appreciating the walks
Watching the Sox lineup work nine walks in Wednesday’s win over the Rays, Cora couldn’t help but joke in the dugout.
“That’s like a month-and-a-half’s worth of walks for this team,” Cora said.
The lineup had a breakthrough after struggling since the All-Star break, going 12 for 24 with runners in scoring position. Cora acknowledged that keeping the clubhouse upbeat over that stretch was a challenge, but he tried to keep things in perspective as the Sox push through the final stretch of the season.
“We get disappointed, we get frustrated, but hopefully little by little we keep going, we keep trending on the positive side,” he said. “We have a lot of games to play.
Verdugo in Boston
Alex Verdugo made it back to Boston during the game. He went through COVID protocols and is expected to play tomorrow … Tanner Houck will be optioned to Triple A Worcester in a procedural move that will allow the Sox flexibility to add a reliever for their weekend series against the Orioles. Houck will remain in line to added to the roster to pitch in the Sox’s doubleheader against the Yankees on Tuesday … Danny Santana and Christian Arroyo ran and took batting practice Thursday and remain on track to begin rehab assignments next week … Ryan Brasier was scheduled to throw again Thursday night in Worcester.
Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.