E-Rod, Smith ready for Minor League games

E-Rod, Smith ready for Minor League games

HOUSTON -- A couple of Red Sox pitchers are finally finished with their stints at extended spring training.

Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez and reliever Carson Smith will begin Minor League rehab assignments this week, according to manager John Farrell.

Rodriguez recovered well from his 70-plus-pitch, five-inning effort at the Red Sox's training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., and now he'll head for Class A Advanced Salem for his first Minor League start.

"With the off-day for [Double-A] Portland on Thursday, we're going to keep him on his normal five days," Farrell said. "He'll likely join [Triple-A] Pawtucket the following turn."

Farrell said earlier this weekend that it will likely be three starts before Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox, with mid-May being a reasonable target date.

As for Smith, his Saturday effort in Fort Myers went well, and he'll likely head to Pawtucket.

"Carson threw an inning, showed very good arm strength and velocity," Farrell said. "We're probably looking at Tuesday as his next appearance."

The teams wants to see Smith pitch in back-to-back games before returning to the big league club. Still, the righty could be back as soon as next weekend if all goes well.

The 26-year-old Smith has yet to make his Boston debut after posting a 2.31 ERA in 70 appearances for Seattle during his rookie season. Rodriguez was a mainstay in the Red Sox's rotation last season, going 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA in 21 starts.

Chris Abshire is a contributor for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.