BOSTON -- Wearing the home uniform at Fenway Park for the first time on Tuesday night, Kyle Schwarber looks forward to the day when he’s doing so while on the active roster.
The way Schwarber is feeling physically, he might not be that far off.
The next key step for Schwarber will be getting cleared to go on a Minor League rehab assignment -- and probably a short one at that.
“I think it will be pretty soon. I really do,” Schwarber said. “Whenever it does come and [I] get the A-OK to go, I’m going to be ready. I think it’s going to be sooner than what some people might think.”
The left-handed slugger, acquired in a July 29 trade with the Nationals, hasn’t been able to play yet because of a right hamstring injury he suffered on July 2.
There’s also a left groin strain Schwarber endured recently that has served as more of an annoyance than anything more serious.
“It’s just kind of a little lingering thing,” said Schwarber. “It’s not really a huge setback. It was there, and it’s just a little bump in the road but it’s healing up pretty good. I don’t think it will be too long.”
Though Red Sox manager Alex Cora is being careful not to provide a timetable, it’s conceivable Schwarber could play in the Minors as soon as this weekend, and perhaps debut for the Sox by their Aug. 17 doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.
With Boston in the middle of a pennant race and struggling of late, it’s understandable that the club and Schwarber would like to keep the rehab assignment brief.
“I think that can kind of be the case,” Schwarber said. “You just want to get your feet under you and go. Once the lights kick on and the fans are cheering, it’s a whole new ballgame. I’ll see what the trainers have to say and what AC and the front office think, but I want to be back as soon as I can.”
Of course, it will be interesting to see how Schwarber adapts to first base, a position he is trying to learn in order to maximize his fit with Boston’s roster. Third-base coach Carlos Febles and quality control coach Ramon Vazquez continue to work with Scwharber on a daily basis.
How is that going so far?
“It’s been going good -- about as good as it can be,” said Schwarber. “I’m getting my feet wet and listening to the coaches, and I feel like if I were to be over there [at first base] at some point, I’m going to try my hardest to make sure the team’s not missing a beat over there.”
At a time the Red Sox could use a reinforcement in the lineup, Schwarber could provide a significant boost if he even approaches the level he was hitting at for the Nationals back in June.
“He's trending good,” said Cora. “He feels a lot better from the groin thing, the hamstring, he’s been running the bases and doing everything. I'm not going to give you a day -- we never do that -- but, you know, he feels good. We're feeling a lot better. Much better today than actually over the weekend. We'll keep working with him and see where it takes us.”