Pomeranz proves ready for Minors assignment

June 27th, 2018
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Drew Pomeranz delivers to the Kansas City Royals in the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park, Wednesday, May 2, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)Elise Amendola/AP

BOSTON -- Left-hander stepped back on the main mound at Fenway Park on Wednesday to throw a two-inning simulated game that should set him up for the start of a Minor League rehab assignment for Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday.

Pomeranz threw all of his pitches and felt strong. He last pitched for Boston on May 31 before going on the disabled list with tendinitis in his left biceps.

"I felt pretty good," said Pomeranz. "Threw two innings, it's a good first step for me."

Initially, it seemed as though Pomeranz would be headed to the bullpen when he returns. But a new wrinkle unfolded earlier this week, when knuckleballer had to go back on the DL with inflammation in his left knee.

That could open Pomeranz's rotation spot back up for him. Pomeranz hopes to perform better than he did in his previous shot this season, as he went 1-3 with a 6.81 ERA in eight starts.

It has been a disjointed season for Pomeranz, who began the year on the DL with a strained left forearm flexor.

The hope is that the latest DL stint gave him time to regroup and fine-tune his mechanics.

"He looked better," said manager Alex Cora. "His arm looked faster, mechanics-wise, very close to who he was last year. See how he bounces back tonight and we'll go from there. If everything goes well, most likely he'll go on a rehab assignment on Monday. Go to Triple-A. That's how good he was."

Pomeranz proved last season what he can do when he is at his best, going 17-6 with a 3.32 ERA, but this year he has been plagued by injuries and mechanical breakdowns. He hopes he can reset when he returns.

"It has given me kind of a breather to think about a few things, to fine-tune a few things, and then I had the neck thing where I couldn't throw for a few days," said Pomeranz. "Had to simplify everything, which made me more anxious to go throw, but I like the things that I've worked on."