Price progresses with tosses off mound

Price progresses with tosses off mound

BOSTON -- Red Sox lefty David Price's latest step in his recovery came on Wednesday, when he made roughly 25 throws off the mound after his long-toss work was complete.

Though it wasn't a full-blown side session and the catcher was not in the crouching position, it was the first time Price has thrown off the slope since being shut down with a left elbow strain on March 1.

"It was just more for David to feel the slope of the mound under his feet, to throw the ball downhill a little bit more," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "The most encouraging thing is with each throwing session he goes through, he comes out feeling good physically. And we'll look to do the same [Thursday], with maybe a little bit more distance to the long toss.

Price was able to get to just over 100 feet in his long toss on Wednesday.

Until he is cleared to begin a regular diet of side sessions, it's hard to project a return date.

It's clear that Price won't pitch for the Red Sox in April, because he still needs to go through a full Spring Training worth of starts.

Worth noting

• Left-hander Drew Pomeranz felt that Monday's Minor League start in Fort Myers, Fla., was the last step before his return to action. The plan remains for Pomeranz to come off the disabled list and pitch Sunday afternoon's game in Detroit, though some projected rainy weather in Boston on Thursday could impact the rotation.

"I feel about normal for the beginning of the year," said Pomeranz. "I feel great. I've got 90 pitches in, I feel that's what most people did the last start anyway, so I feel I'm right where I need to be."

• Setup man Tyler Thornburg, who is on the 10-day disabled list with an impingement in his right shoulder, will be examined by the medical staff on Thursday. The Red Sox should know after that if he can resume throwing.

Joe Kelly was originally expected to be the primary setup man in Thornburg's absence, but the righty had some command issues late in Spring Training. Heath Hembree and Matt Barnes are at least temporarily ahead of Kelly in the pecking order for high-leverage situations.

"We've got to get Joe going a little bit to take on the potential of the eighth inning," said Farrell. "But we're going to mix and match, and use our best possible matchups to get to [Craig Kimbrel] until things become a little more solidified. [Kelly] had a couple outings of late where fastball command has been a little elusive, walks have been there. So just trying to get him a little momentum as he takes on added responsibility."

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