For Carson Smith, his recovery from Tommy John surgery is 15 months in the making. The right hander made his first relief appearance in AAA last night, throwing 1 inning allowing a walk and a strikeout against Charlotte. Smith, whose first rehab assignment could have gone better, is eager to come and help his organization.
When asked about the rehab process, in an interview with masslive.com, he responded, “Red flags? Those happen, sometimes you can’t find them before your body let’s you know.” The reliever was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Mariners along with starting pitcher Roenis Elias for Wade Miley and Jonathan Aro in December 2015. Elias, who recently made a few starts for AAA Pawtucket, was recovering from a muscle strain that forced him to start the season on the disabled list as well.
If Smith can join the Red Sox bullpen in late August or early September, he could be a huge boost for the team. The bullpen has pitched 14 scoreless innings in the last 4 games, with a combined 18 strikeouts. Smith would add depth to the AL’s best bullpen and the league’s second best bullpen. He would join pitchers Joe Kelley, Addison Reed, and All Star closer Craig Kimbrel.
With Carson slated to throw an inning every three games, the future is looking bright for the 15 month long recovery. With progress looking up, and the fastball reaching 92 MPH let’s hope that the Red Sox can add him to the playoff roster as well.