UPDATE: Knee issue for Steven Wright.
This Spring, we've seen a cascade of negative health stories about Red Sox pitchers—now another may be on the horizon. Multiple reports suggest that relief pitcher Carson Smith has suffered a setback in his recovery from Tommy John surgery—feeling "tightness" after his first bullpen session. Previously scheduled to join the bullpen in June, this new problem may significantly delay that timetable. Said Smith of the June date, "It could be pushed back at some point, just because I've seen other guys go through the process, and they get to this point and there are things and obstacles they have to overcome when they start to manipulate the ball a little more. We'll see how it goes, but I'm very happy with June as a target." Before this Smith news, David Price, Steven Wright, Eduardo Rodriguez, Drew Pomeranz and Tyler Thornburg have all had varying degrees of health concerns—some much more severe than others. The bottom line is that what were supposed to be strengths of the 2017 team—starting and relief pitching—could soon turn out to be major liabilities. Any undue optimism about this team has got be tempered by this continuing flow of bad news on the pitching front.