FORT MYERS, Fla. — For some time, the Red Sox assumed that their first turn of the rotation would serve as an exploration of the team’s starting pitching depth. Chris Sale, David Price, and Rick Porcello remain on track to make the first three starts of the season. But with Drew Pomeranz (forearm tightness), Eduardo Rodriguez (knee surgery), and Steven Wright (knee surgery) working back from injuries, the team seemed likely to employ righthander Hector Velazquez and lefthander Brian Johnson for at least one start each.
But that outlook may be changing, with Rodriguez and Wright in particular charging hard toward the initial days of the season. Rodriguez is scheduled to pitch four innings in a minor league game on Tuesday, and Wright — after what he characterized as a huge step on Saturday — may not be far behind him.
Wright threw three innings of live batting practice to Red Sox minor leaguers on Saturday morning. In contrast to an outing a few days earlier, the L-screen had been removed from in front of him on the mound and the batting practice shell over the hitters had likewise been removed.