PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Drew Pomeranz was cleared to restart a throwing program after being evaluated again by the Red Sox medical staff on Tuesday.
Pomeranz left his start against St. Louis in the second inning on Friday because of forearm soreness that proved to be the result of a strained flexor tendon. He recovered quickly.
“That was good. That was positive,” manager Alex Cora said.
There is not a plan in place as to when Pomeranz will pitch again. But he should have time to be prepared for the season.
“It looks that way,” Cora said. “I don’t want to put a timetable on it. We’re not going to push somebody just to push them. We know it’s 162 games.”
With 21 days of spring training remaining, Pomeranz could get another four starts in, then start the fourth or fifth game of the season.
Chris Sale is set to make his Grapefruit League debut on Friday against Miami in Jupiter. That lines him up to make four starts before facing the Rays on March 29, Opening Day.
Cora declined to name Sale the Opening Day starter even through it obviously will be him.
“Nah, not yet,” he said. “We’ll get back to that one later.”
David Price starts against the Twins on Saturday, which would put him in Game 2.
Back in Fort Myers, Rick Porcello faced 15 batters in a minor league game. Over what was essentially four innings, the righthander threw 47 pitches (34 for strikes) and gave up one run on four hits with three strikeouts.
The one run was a home run by J.D. Martinez, who was 2 for 6 with a walk in the game.
Cora is looking forward to seeing Martinez play.
“I just want to hang out with him,” the manager said. “Since he signed, I’ve seen probably one day. We’ve been on the road the whole time. We were joking but it’s true. The traveling is tough. I haven’t been around him. It will be great to see him there. The fans are excited; everyone is excited.”
Cora said Martinez did a good job getting ready after missing what was nearly a week of workouts while his contract was hashed out.
“Now we go,” he said.
Martinez is set to start in left field against Minnesota on Wednesday at JetBlue Park.
Mookie Betts was 2 for 8 with a double, taking some extra at-bats at Fenway South in lieu of playing against the Rays.
Eduardo Nunez was 1 for 6 and played three innings at second base. He likely will make his Grapefruit League debut on Thursday.
Mitch Moreland was 2 for 6 with two doubles. Christian Vazquez was 3 for 5 with two doubles, and Deven Marrero was 2 for 4 with a double and a walk.
Blake Swihart played left field for the first time since June 4, 2016. That was the day he blew out his left ankle crashing into the wall along the foul line at Fenway Park and was lost for the season.
Naturally, the leadoff hitter for the Rays in the bottom of the first inning, Kevin Kiermaier, hit a line drive right at Swihart. Fighting off the sun, he reached up and stabbed the ball.
“I feel good out there. I just need my reps like anybody,” Swihart said.
Swihart already has caught and played first base. Cora is planning to try him at third base sometime soon.
Swihart was 1 for 3 with a double. He is 10 of 24 with seven extra-base hits, five runs, and six RBIs in eight games.
Brock Holt was in the lineup to play second base against the Rays but was scratched because of left abdominal tightness. He will be further evaluated on Wednesday. Holt felt something while playing catch before the game but took batting practice without any discomfort. Cora decided not to take any chances. “It’s not worth it,” he said . . . Cora expects to make his first cuts on Saturday or Sunday.