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Red Sox spring training: Drew Pomeranz, Steven Wright start with setbacks

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The competition at the back of the rotation got bad news on two of three fronts.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Pitchers and catchers officially report on Monday! This is good news! Yay! Baseball is back! Everything is good and it’s time to celebrate!

Aaaaaand...now we get back to reality. While pitchers and catchers reporting is mostly a symbolic day, it’s also the start of new baseball news. After months of silence on the Red Sox front, we’re all excited for new news. That is, until we remember that most news sucks. That was the case on Sunday, as John Farrell shared some bad news with the media. According to Boston’s manager, both Drew Pomeranz and Steven Wright will have to wait until taking the mound in camp. Instead, they’ll be limited to flat ground work for at least a week.

Pomeranz and Wright, of course, are both fighting with Eduardo Rodriguez for the final two rotation spots. In fact, these two were likely the favorites to take the jobs. The former is battling with an elbow issue that he he’d been dealing with since at least last September. Over the offseason, he received a stem cell injection to help with the injury. Ironically, in that linked article he described himself as “feeling great and ready to go” after the injection.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Wright, as we all know, was injured last year against the Dodgers when he was infamously called upon to pinch run. He dove back into second base on a pickoff attempt and hurt his shoulder. The knuckleballer attempted a comeback a couple of weeks after the injury, but it didn’t take and he’d sit for the rest of the season. Most, including the staff and Wright himself, thought the injury would heal up by now, but apparently it hasn’t fully recovered.

The good news is, according to Farrell, neither pitcher is expected to be ruled out on Opening Day at this point. Obviously, that is still a long way away and things can change, but we have to take it for what it is right now. Neither guy is completely shut down, so the injury isn’t totally serious. If someone gets shut down for good, then we can put on a mini panic.

As for Rodriguez, the team is waiting to make any real comments on his knee until they can get a physical tomorrow when he reports. As of now, he is on the Designated Pitcher Pool for Venezuela’s World Baseball Classic roster, and will be re-evaluated before the second round of the tournament. If Pomeranz and/or Wright are still suffering from their injuries by that point, one would imagine the organization will look harder for reasons to cause Rodriguez to miss the tournament.

Spring training is officially opening up, which means baseball is officially back. As great as it is, it also means bad news will be coming out every once in awhile as well. The Red Sox are prepared for this, though, and they have six strong starting pitchers for this very scenario. People always say these situations have a way of working themselves out, and this situation is getting to work early.