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Drew Pomeranz may not be ready to start season, but he's trending in right direction after bullpen session

John Tomase
March 18, 2018 - 2:02 pm

Drew Pomeranz is in familiar territory.

A year ago, Pomeranz opened the season the DL, missed one start, and then produced the best numbers of his career, going 17-6 with a 3.32 ERA in 32 starts.

This year, Pomeranz has been slowed by a mild flexor strain in his left elbow, which caused him to leave a start in Jupiter on March 2. On Sunday, he returned to the mound with a two-inning bullpen session and felt strong.

Pomeranz threw 33 pitches and allowed two shots by catcher Sandy Leon -- a home run to left and a booming ball off the wall -- but otherwise felt sharp, all things considered.

"I don't know velocity-wise what it was, but it was carrying through and it was getting on them quick," said Pomeranz, who also faced Rafael Devers. "That's what I look for, the four-seam, the way it's coming out of my hand. It was coming out good. . . . This is the first day I've really gotten after it. I threw a bullpen the other day where I was just kind of moving. Today I actually started firing them in there. I felt great. I felt normal."

He has also been here before.

"I mean, I've done different weird things at the beginning of seasons," he said. "I've been DL'ed just to pitch the ninth game before. The beginning of the year can be kind of weird, so I'm just trying to progress in the right direction and take it from there."

Pitching coach Dana LeVangie said the Red Sox would like to put Pomeranz on an every-five-days schedule moving forward, with his next outing possibly a minor league game, depending on how Pomeranz feels tomorrow. It's still too soon to say if he'll be ready to start the regular season, though the possibility would appear to be remote, since Pomeranz has made only one appearance this spring.

"He was challenged to go out there after throwing a 45-pitch bullpen a few days earlier," LeVangie said. "The biggest thing was getting him up and down, just trying to replicate a game. The ball was coming out really good, I thought he stayed in his delivery really well, mixed in all his pitches. A good day."

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