Red Sox reliever Carson Smith nearing a return from injury

BOSTON, MA - MAY 09: Carson Smith
BOSTON, MA - MAY 09: Carson Smith /

When the Boston Red Sox traded for Carson Smith we expected an immediate impact. With more than a year off, when will he be ready?

In 2015, the Boston Red Sox were in need of relief pitching. Dave Dombrowski had already acquired Craig Kimbrel from the San Diego Padres, but Dealin’ Dave wasn’t done.

In December 2015, Dombrowski traded starting pitcher Wade Miley and a relief pitching prospect in Jonathan Are to the Seattle Mariners in return for starter Roenis Elias and relief pitcher Carson Smith.

Most people in the baseball world thought that Dipoto had made a big mistake in trading Smith for a player who was very similar to Elias. The biggest loss by far was Smith, the shining star of the 2015 Mariners bullpen. It seemed as if the Red Sox had hit the jackpot, and really stolen away one of the Mariners best players.

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Last May, Smith had Tommy John surgery, which put him on the sideline for nearly the entire 2016 season. In his first attempt to come back, he was shut down after experiencing shoulder pain. Due to this series of health issues, Smith has yet to make an impact for the major league club.

Smith seems to be making his way back to the Red Sox, and hopes to be ready for the playoffs. He has thrown three scoreless innings of relief for the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Double-A affiliate of the Red Sox. Manager John Farrell doesn’t want Smith throwing in back-to-back days as he returns from Tommy John surgery, which may slow his progress. He is not expected to return until late August or early September.

Smith is not the first acquisition that Dombrowski has made that hasn’t panned out. Tyler Thornburg was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers for Travis Shaw. Thronburg had a fantastic year for the Brewers last year he had a 2.15 ERA.

It looked as if the Red Sox had hit the jackpot, but once again, the injury bug hit where it has hurt them the most. Thornburg also was pronounced done for the year after his surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. With Smith returning and the addition of Thornburg, the Red Sox were expecting to have one of the best bullpens in all of baseball. Now, without Smith and Thornburg, the Red Sox have truly missed having a good setup man.

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If Smith can show the spark that he provided for the Mariners in 2015, he will make the 7th and 8th innings a lot more comfortable, not only for Farrell, but also Red Sox Nation.