Red Sox prospect Triston Casas, who has been on a rehab assignment in Fort Myers, Fla., while working back from a high right ankle sprain suffered May 17, is likely to return to Triple A Worcester this week.
Casas, 22, played four games in the Florida Complex League prior to the midseason minor league break, which coincided with the MLB All-Star break.
Casas went 6 for 14 with a home run, three doubles, three walks, and two strikeouts for a .429/.529/.857 line in 17 plate appearances. He tested the ankle by playing on back-to-back-to-back days, with two at first base and one at designated hitter.
“We’re happy obviously with the progress he made,” said Red Sox farm director Brian Abraham. “This week, hopefully he’ll be active [in Worcester].”
Casas was hitting .248/.359/.457 with six homers in 36 games for the WooSox before his injury. But while those numbers look modest, evaluators were impressed with his increased willingness to drive the ball (rather than a pronounced two-strike approach focused on putting the ball in play), with Casas showing immense increases in his average exit velocity.
“He’s murdering the ball,” one scout recently observed.
The determination that Casas is ready to return from the injured list is noteworthy given the yearlong struggles of Red Sox first basemen in the big leagues. The Sox rank in the bottom five among all teams in several offensive categories at first, including average (.205), OBP (.280), and slugging (.341). Franchy Cordero, after showing considerable promise at times, limped into the break in an 0-for-16 slump with 15 strikeouts over his last five games.
RHP Thaddeus Ward starts climb
Rehabbing righthander Thaddeus Ward, who underwent Tommy John surgery in June 2021, is expected to move up to High-A Greenville coming out of the minor league break.
In four rehab outings (two in the Florida Complex League, two in Single A Salem) the 25-year-old, who had cracked the Red Sox top 10 prospects list prior to surgery, has thrown 11 shutout innings, allowing just three hits while striking out 19 and walking one.
Alex Speier can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @alexspeier.