PAWTUCKET – 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 “a neck issue, a minimal thing that keeps hindering him a bit.” 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.
“It’s just a little setback, kind of frustrating. Maybe it’s my body telling me that it’s not ready yet as far as my shoulder goes,” said Kalish while sitting at his locker. “I already thought I would be back by now. At this point I’ve just got to learn to be patient.”
Patience is all that Kalish can hang his hat on these days. He’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.
“We’re trying to get him healthy and get him some at-bats somewhere,” said Beyeler. “He’s trying to get to a day where that neck isn’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. ”
When pressed to give a date for his return, Kalish, sidelined since April 21, would not commit to any timetable. “Slow and steady is what’s going to win this race because it doesn't prove anything if I try to come back too fast.”
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 team’s starting right field. Sutton prepared for his assignment by shagging fly balls during batting practice.
“When 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,” said Sutton, who logged time at all four infield positions and in left field during his 12-game stint with the Red Sox. “Being able to play a lot of different positions will help you no matter what, whether you’re in the American or National League.”
Last night marked Sutton’s fourth appearance in the outfield for Pawtucket. “You try just to make the routine plays and not let doubles turn into triples. What it comes down is playing smart baseball.”
Said Beyeler, “He did a great job while he was up (in Boston) and seemed to be a good fit. Now he’s come back down here and we’re going to keep moving him around.”
EXTRA BASES: Yamaico Navarro (right oblique strain) returned to the PawSox clubhouse after spending the previous few days taking live batting practice in Lowell. … Infielder Tony Thomas was transferred to Double-A Portland on Tuesday. The move leaves Pawtucket one under the 24-man roster limit. … 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. … 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. … Shortstop Jose Iglesias continues to lead all International League shortstops in fan voting for next month’s Triple-A All-Star Game. The polls on minorleaguebaseball.com will remain open until June 24.