Though first baseman Triston Casas hasn’t played in the last two weeks in the Dominican Winter League because of knee soreness, the Red Sox — after having him evaluated in Boston — believe that he will be able to resume playing for the Licey Tigers.
“We brought him back to Boston, just to make sure that we felt good about everything and get checked out here. We didn’t have concern [based] off of that,” said chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom. “He’s still in the states right now. But hopefully, he’ll be back down there soon and get ramped up and play a little more.”
Casas played in just three games before the injury, going 2 for 9 with five walks. He’s playing in the Dominican this offseason in an effort to make up for some of the time he missed during the minor league season while sidelined for two months because of a high right ankle sprain.
The Red Sox brought lefthander James Paxton to Boston for an exam after the season to check on the progress of his recovery from a mid-August lat strain that prevented him from completing his recovery from Tommy John surgery with a return to the big leagues.
“Broadly speaking, everything was on track. Everything is as expected,” said Bloom.
The Sox signed Paxton to a one-year, $6 million deal last winter that included a two-year, $26 million team option. After missing all of this year while working back from Tommy John surgery and then recovering from the lat strain, Paxton has made just six starts in the last three years, though he has been a very effective pitcher — 57-33 with a 3.59 ERA and 9.9 strikeouts per nine innings in 137 career starts — when healthy.
“We still haven’t made any decision on that option,” said Bloom. “Obviously, we’ll make all those decisions when the time is right.”
If the Sox decline their two-year player option on Paxton, the lefthander would have a one-year, $4 million player option for the 2023 season.
Ward nearing return
Righthander Thaddeus Ward, who suffered a left oblique strain while pitching in the Arizona Fall League on October 10, is nearing a return to games for the Scottsdale Scorpions. The 25-year-old, who forged a 2.28 ERA over 13 starts (topping out in Double A Portland) this year in his return from Tommy John surgery in June 2021, was 1-1 with nine strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings in the AFL before the injury … Another Red Sox prospect, second baseman Nick Yorke, has been out since Oct. 25 because of wrist soreness. He returned to the lineup on Tuesday for Scottsdale and played second base. He led off and went 1 for 5 with an RBI. … In the wake of Hurricane Ian in Florida last month, the National Guard had used the Red Sox spring training complex in Fort Myers to stage operations to help Southwest Florida recover. The National Guard is now out of the park; FEMA is currently using the grounds at Fenway South but not the ballpark.