Red Sox expect reliever Smith back next week

Red Sox expect reliever Smith back next week

ATLANTA -- When the Red Sox start their next road trip in Chicago next Tuesday, they should have right-hander Carson Smith in the bullpen.

The sidewinder was supposed to start his rehab assignment for Triple-A Pawtucket on Tuesday, but instead threw his pitches indoors after the game was postponed.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said the rainout won't impact Smith's schedule. The righty has made steady progress since suffering a flexor mass strain in his right elbow on March 21.

"Right now we would have him throw a light bullpen on Thursday and look to accomplish the back-to-back games Friday and Saturday," said Farrell.

As for the likelihood of Smith being activated for the start of the trip in Chicago?

"It is realistic, yeah," said Farrell. "We'll see how the remaining part of the week goes. But that would be a logical goal for all of us."

Lefty starter Eduardo Rodriguez, the other key pitcher to open the season on the disabled list, will pitch for the PawSox on Thursday for the start of his rehab assignment. Rodriguez has been recovering from a patella subluxation (partial dislocation) of his right knee.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.