The Red Sox bullpen could soon be receiving a boost. Josh Taylor is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Worcester on Sunday, manager Alex Cora said ahead of Saturday’s game against the Twins at Fenway Park. The left-hander began the season on the 10-day injured list due to a low back strain.
“He threw a live BP yesterday and obviously we have to wait for today to see how he feels,” Cora said of Taylor. “But there’s a good chance his rehab assignment starts tomorrow.”
Cora added that Taylor will likely need five or six outings with the WooSox before being activated from the injured list. He is in line to make his 2022 debut in Worcester’s series finale against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Polar Park on Sunday afternoon.
Taylor, 29, is coming off a strong 2021 season in which he posted a 3.40 ERA and 2.83 FIP to go along with 60 strikeouts to 23 walks over 61 relief appearances spanning 47 2/3 innings of work.
The Arizona-born southpaw first experienced back discomfort last September and spent time on the injured list because of it. He returned in time for the postseason, but wound up receiving an epidural injection during the off-season.
Those back issues lingered into spring training, but Taylor is now at a point where he is ready to pitch in a game, as he explained to MLB.com’s Ian Browne on Saturday.
“I’m good. The body feels great,” Taylor said. “I had another live [batting practice] yesterday and bounced back well today. I don’t think I’ve had any setbacks. The body feels good. I have a rehab outing tomorrow in Worcester so that will be my first one and I’m looking forward to that. I definitely think I’m ready for that right now.”
(Picture of Josh Taylor: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)