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Carson Smith gets good news, but still needs more tests on right arm

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Carson Smith's arm has passed an initial inspection, but an MRI will tell the whole story later today.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

There's good, but inconclusive news for Carson Smith on his right arm, which tightened up and forced him out of Monday's game against the Cardinals.

Via John Tomase of WEEI, Smith says that an initial examination by a team doctor provided only positive news, but that he would still be having an MRI done to be certain:

"We saw the doctor when I got back yesterday," Smith said. "Everything checked out pretty positive, pretty good. We're still undergoing a few more tests and we'll see where we are from there."

Smith, apparently, feels better, if not quite at 100% after cramping up on Monday, but it certainly makes sense in an age where so many young pitchers are falling victim to injury for the Red Sox to exercise an abundance of caution. After all, Smith is not just a hired gun. When the Red Sox traded Wade Miley to Seattle, they received five full years of team control on Smith. They've got every reason to play it safe.

If the MRI does reveal anything serious, though, it will be a big hit to Boston's bullpen. With Craig Kimbrel, Koji Uehara, and Junichi Tazawa complemented by a decent group of potential middle relievers, it's not a hit the Red Sox can't survive. But it would turn one of the best bullpens in baseball, expected to be a legitimate strength of the team in 2016, into something more run-of-the-mill.

So far, the injury bug hasn't been too unkind to the Red Sox this spring. Eduardo Rodriguez will miss the beginning of the season after tweaking a knee in the last days of February, and they lost some depth in Brennan Boesch when he fractured his wrist. But they've managed to dodge the bullet of major injuries to key players. We'll know for certain later today whether they've managed to keep that trend alive for another day, but for now, the signs are at least good.