PAWTUCKET â€“ To say that the Pawtucket Red Sox are looking forward to having Ryan Kalish back in the lineup would be a vast understatement. It appears, though, that the outfield prospect still needs more time.
On Tuesday PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler revealed that Kalish is fighting through â€śa neck issue, a minimal thing that keeps hindering him a bit.â€ť The first signal to Kalish that something didn't feel quite right occurred while rehabbing his right shoulder in Fort Myers, Fla. earlier this month.
â€śItâ€™s just a little setback, kind of frustrating. Maybe itâ€™s my body telling me that itâ€™s not ready yet as far as my shoulder goes,â€ť said Kalish while sitting at his locker. â€śI already thought I would be back by now. At this point Iâ€™ve just got to learn to be patient.â€ť
Patience is all that Kalish can hang his hat on these days. Heâ€™s progressed to the point that he can throw without any pain from 90 feet. However, participating in live batting practice remains a hurdle the 23-year-old has yet to scale. Once that important step happens, Kalish could receive clearance to head out for a rehab assignment, possibly with short-seasoned Lowell.
â€śWeâ€™re trying to get him healthy and get him some at-bats somewhere,â€ť said Beyeler. â€śHeâ€™s trying to get to a day where that neck isnâ€™t bothering him. He threw (Tuesday) and the strength is coming back to his shoulder. Some days he takes more swings, then the next day the neck is tight again. â€ť
When pressed to give a date for his return, Kalish, sidelined since April 21, would not commit to any timetable. â€śSlow and steady is whatâ€™s going to win this race because it doesn't prove anything if I try to come back too fast.â€ť
Drew Sutton continues to live up to his utilityman reputation. On his first day back with the PawSox, Sutton, an infielder by trade, was the teamâ€™s starting right field. Sutton prepared for his assignment by shagging fly balls during batting practice.
â€śWhen you move around position-wise as much as I do, you just want to get as much work as you can in order to get comfortable,â€ť said Sutton, who logged time at all four infield positions and in left field during his 12-game stint with the Red Sox. â€śBeing able to play a lot of different positions will help you no matter what, whether youâ€™re in the American or National League.â€ť
Last night marked Suttonâ€™s fourth appearance in the outfield for Pawtucket. â€śYou try just to make the routine plays and not let doubles turn into triples. What it comes down is playing smart baseball.â€ť
Said Beyeler, â€śHe did a great job while he was up (in Boston) and seemed to be a good fit. Now heâ€™s come back down here and weâ€™re going to keep moving him around.â€ť
EXTRA BASES: Yamaico Navarro (right oblique strain) returned to the PawSox clubhouse after spending the previous few days taking live batting practice in Lowell. â€¦ Infielder Tony Thomas was transferred to Double-A Portland on Tuesday. The move leaves Pawtucket one under the 24-man roster limit. â€¦ The struggles that lefty reliever Franklin Morales endured in two rehab appearances with the PawSox (1 2/3 innings, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts) almost assures that another minor-league outing is on the docket. Beyeler would not confirm when Morales would pitch next, but Thursday seems a logical bet. â€¦ Josh Reddick was not in the lineup for the second time in three days. The fact the outfielder is in a 5-for-44 slump may have something to do with it. â€¦ Shortstop Jose Iglesias continues to lead all International League shortstops in fan voting for next monthâ€™s Triple-A All-Star Game. The polls on minorleaguebaseball.com will remain open until June 24.