As he works his way back from a bout with COVID-19, Red Sox left-hander Josh Taylor is just happy to be back throwing on an actual feel again.
After testing positive for the coronavirus during the club’s Summer Camp intake screening period last month, the 27-year-old had to self-isolate in a Boston hotel room for two weeks with virtually no physical contact from the outside world. The only time Taylor could open his door was to pick up the meals that were left for him on the hallway floor.
Because he was not allowed to go outside while in quarantine, Taylor had to get creative in staying in shape for whenever he would be able to return to the mound. He did that by using his own laundry.
“You come in ready to go,” Taylor said when recalling what went down in July via a Zoom call on Monday. “You’re ready to throw right away. Having to take the two weeks off and trying to find a way to keep yourself ready – I was throwing into a sock in the hotel room.”
Since that time, the Arizona native has been cleared to return to baseball activities and has been working out at the Red Sox’ alternate training site in Pawtucket.
There, as noted by The Providence Journal’s Bill Koch, Taylor ‘has thrown a pair of live batting practice sessions and is scheduled for one simulated inning on Tuesday.’ He is very much looking forward to that.
“Throwing bullpens you don’t get the sights,” said the southpaw. “You don’t get the hitter to read. I feel really good about how my stuff is coming out right now.”
Coming off a rookie campaign in which he posted a 3.11 ERA and .638 OPS against over 51 appearances and 46 1/3 innings pitched as a reliever in 2019, Taylor emerged as a dangerous left-handed weapon out of the Red Sox bullpen.
Originally acquired by Boston as the player to be named later in a trade with the Diamondbacks that sent Deven Marrero to Arizona, Taylor is itching to get back to the majors and prove he belongs once more.
“I know my time is going to come,” he said. “And hopefully sooner rather than later I’ll be up there to help the team.”
In the meantime, Taylor will continue to work out at McCoy Stadium with the other players in the Sox’ roster pool. He was initially placed on the 10-day injured list on July 14, so there shouldn’t be any problem activating him when that time comes.