Boston Red Sox: Carson Smith set to begin rehab assignment

BOSTON, MA - MAY 09: Carson Smith
BOSTON, MA - MAY 09: Carson Smith /

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Carson Smith is set to begin a rehab stint with the Double-A Portland Seadogs over the weekend.

On Thursday, Boston Red Sox reliever Carson Smith threw a live batting practice session. Now, he’ll take the next rehab step over the weekend in Portland.

Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported that Smith threw 21 pitches in his session. Following Tommy John surgery, Smith will have up to 60 days to return to Boston, but the Red Sox are hopeful he can get back much sooner. The Seadogs are returning home, so Smith won’t have to go too far to join them.

His first appearance could come on Saturday, but the Red Sox will likely want him to appear in multiple games. Smith hasn’t faced live batters in an actual game since last spring.

Prior to Tommy John

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Prior to his injury last season, Carson Smith appeared in just 3 games for the Red Sox. He allowed 2 hits over 2.2 innings pitched. For a better look at the type of pitcher Smith can be, we’ll have to look at his numbers from his time with the Seattle Mariners.

In 2015, Smith appeared in 70 games for the M’s. He threw an even 70 innings with a 2.31 ERA, 92 strikeouts, and just 49 hits allowed.

That is what the Red Sox are looking for out of Smith late in this season. Boston bolstered the bullpen with the addition of Addison Reed, but we all know you can never have enough pitching. For now, it looks like Joe Kelly, Addison Reed, and Craig Kimbrel will get the ball at the back end of games in that order. If Smith is able to return sooner rather than later, he could become a 6th or 7th inning man himself.

Next: Nunez providing a spark for Red Sox

As things stand, the Red Sox are 1 game ahead of the New York Yankees in the AL East. The bullpen will likely be key to that division race and to the team’s success in the postseason. How do you think Carson Smith will fit in with the current group in Boston’s bullpen? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter @CandCFansided.