Rodriguez slated to throw sim game this weekend

Lefty's final round of live BP set for Wednesday

Rodriguez slated to throw sim game this weekend

CLEVELAND -- Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez will throw his third and likely final round of live batting practice on Wednesday, and then advance to pitching in a simulated game on Sunday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Rodriguez didn't pitch during Spring Training after suffering patellar subluxation in his right knee during a PFP drill on Feb. 27.

Sunday will mark a significant day in Rodriguez's schedule, because he can begin a steady progression of starts after that.

The Red Sox would probably want Rodriguez to pitch in six game settings (including Sunday) before activating him. Under that timetable, and if there are no setbacks, he could likely return to the Red Sox by the second week in May.

Smith's first spring strikeout

Rodriguez and righty reliever Carson Smith are two key pitchers who started the season on the disabled list. Smith, a setup man, has a strained flexor mass in his right elbow.

"Still on flat ground and will go through it this week in a throwing program that gets [Smith] out to 120 feet," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "That will be the marker that gets him out at least a couple of times before he gets on the mound."

Smith had already pitched in five Spring Training games and he's a reliever, meaning his ramp-up back to action shouldn't be as lengthy as Rodriguez.

"Once we get into the bullpen sessions, we might take one BP and then look to get into games. We have to get through this long-toss phase first," Farrell said.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.