Smith expected to throw off mound Tuesday

Thornburg could also be close to resuming mound work

Smith expected to throw off mound Tuesday

BOSTON -- Two key Red Sox relievers are making progress in their recovery from injury.

Carson Smith, who underwent Tommy John surgery on May 24, 2016, is expected to throw off the mound on Tuesday.

The side-winder had been doing some mound work late in Spring Training and through mid-April, but had been reduced to flat ground the last couple of weeks due to some soreness.

Tyler Thornburg, who hasn't pitched this season due to an impingement in his right shoulder that has taken longer than expected to recover from, could also be close to some mound work.

"So while their rehab schedules differ a little bit -- in Tyler's case, probably a little bit longer than first anticipated -- they're both making progress," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "So, back to the mound for both here in the coming days."

WORTH NOTING

Hanley Ramirez, who hasn't played first base since last season due to a right shoulder ailment, could be ready to break out his glove in one week, when the Red Sox open a three-game series in Milwaukee without a designated hitter.

"He's been taking ground balls and we're still working to get him to that point," Farrell said. "Where we've got National League games upcoming, the preference would be to have him at first base in some of those games in Milwaukee."

Joe Kelly, who has lit up the radar gun this season, including a 102-mph pitch on Friday, is having some command issues. The righty walked two straight batters and uncorked a game-tying wild pitch on Sunday night against the Cubs. In 13 1/3 innings this season, Kelly had eight walks and five strikeouts.

"I don't give a darn how hard you throw. If you're not locating the ball, it's probably going to result in some different numbers, a different performance," said Farrell. "When he is locating the baseball, when he his throwing his breaking ball for strikes and led some hitters with that offspeed stuff early, it has made his fastball play up a little bit more."

"He is well-aware how great of an arm he has. He is blessed with an incredible arm and the arm speed he creates, but still it comes down to the location."

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.