On Thursday night for the first time in 105 days, Ryan Kalish will take the field in a game that counts as he begins a rehab stint with the Single-A Lowell Spinners. The 23-year-old outfielder is scheduled to be Lowell’s designated hitter on Thursday before playing the outfield on Saturday. If there are no setbacks, Kalish is likely to return to the PawSox lineup for the last few weeks of the season.
“We’re not going to put any time frame on it,” said Red Sox farm director Mike Hazen. “We’ll see how those two games go and then we’ll make the determination based on what we see.
“We’re very encouraged by this step. Obviously we want to still remain cautiously optimistic given that he’s missed so much time with this injury, but getting back on the field is encouraging and hopefully he is able to take the next step. It’s going to be like a first spring training game almost, so it’s going to take a few days to get ramped back up, but he should be back in Pawtucket soon if all goes well.”
“I don’t care what my numbers are at this point,” Kalish told Brendan McGair from The Pawtucket Times on Tuesday. “I just want to play and feel right about it. Out of this season, I may get 150 total at-bats, meaning it’s tough to judge where I’m at as far as my development. Personally the numbers aren’t going to mean a thing. I just want to feel good and healthy and be able to go into the offseason knowing that I can come into next season feeling good rather than answering questions about my health.”
Shoulder and neck injuries have forced Kalish to miss Pawtucket’s last 96 games, but he’s responded to treatment over the last few weeks, and has been able to increase his baseball activities.
“The shoulder healed in about five weeks,” Kalish told McGair. “Next thing you know I have a neck injury. I’ve had stiff necks in the past and it’s taken 3-4 days, but I’ve probably been set back four or five times, just not feeling good enough to play.
“It’s been about 10 consecutive days that I’ve felt really good. It’s been a long time since I felt good.”
“I talked to him yesterday and he was very excited about getting back out on the field,” Hazen said. “It’s been a long year for him obviously and not something that any of us wanted to see. Hopefully he gets back healthy and can help us here in the second half of the season.”
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After enjoying their only off-day in the month of August, the PawSox continue their 8-game homestand as they open a 4-game series against Buffalo on Thursday night at 7:05.
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