If all goes well, Smith to be activated Tuesday

If all goes well, Smith to be activated Tuesday

BOSTON -- Red Sox setup man Carson Smith checked off perhaps the final requirement in his Minor League rehab assignment, pitching on the second of back-to-back days on Saturday for Double-A Portland.

In fact, the righty reliever was in top form, requiring just nine pitches to complete a 1-2-3 inning.

"The velocity was the same as yesterday," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We'll evaluate him tomorrow. Then we'll proceed from there. Another clean, solid, strong inning from Carson today."

The Red Sox are likely to activate Smith for the start of their road trip on Tuesday night in Chicago.

It will create an interesting roster decision. Right-hander Heath Hembree, the logical candidate to be optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket, has been tremendous since his callup, throwing four scoreless outings.

"We've got some things coming up here with Carson's return, Eduardo Rodriguez's continued progression, so I think the biggest thing is we have to get through tomorrow's evaluation with Carson," said Farrell.

Smith suffered a flexor mass strain in his right elbow on March 21.

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.