Sox giving Smith extra rest between outings

Club isn't ruling out another DL stint as he recovers from flexor strain

Sox giving Smith extra rest between outings

KANSAS CITY -- Entering Wednesday's day-night doubleheader, Red Sox setup man Carson Smith had pitched just three times since he was activated from the disabled list on May 3. The reason for his sparing usage is that he's not recovering as well as the club had hoped between outings.

Smith first appeared on May 3 in Chicago, then didn't pitch again until May 9. His last appearance was on Saturday against the Astros.

"As he's come out of outings, he might need a little extra time right now to get back to where he feels confident physically so there's a balance to that right now and trying to get him [in the groove]," manager John Farrell said before Game 1 against the Royals. "When he's feeling where he might need another day, I haven't wanted to push him to set him back even further. Like I said, the best answer I can give you is there's a little bit of a balance to that right now."

The Red Sox pitched Smith on back-to-back days during his Minor League rehab assignment for Triple-A Pawtucket, so there is some degree of surprise that he hasn't bounced back well since his activation.

"The rate of recovery is maybe a little bit longer than he's anticipated or that we've anticipated," Farrell said. "Like I said, we're kind of managing through that right now."

Smith suffered a flexor strain in his right elbow during a Grapefruit League outing on March 21. Is it possible the sidewinding righty could wind up back on the disabled list?

"I think it depends on how he comes out of his next outing," Farrell said. "And not to be so reactionary, but I think we're at that point where if that soreness or the sensation that he's feeling lingers, that may be something we take a look at."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.