Tanner Houck indicated that he is not vaccinated against COVID-19, and therefore, he will be unable to travel to Toronto to make his scheduled start later this month, per Julian McWilliams of the Boston Globe. Players do not have to be vaccinated, but any traveler heading into Canada does. Houck is scheduled to pitch against the Blue Jays in Boston on Thursday, putting him in line to start in Toronto the following Tuesday (April 26). The Red Sox will have to shift their rotation around, potentially pushing Houck’s next start to the following series in Baltimore. This shouldn’t be a big issue for Boston, as the club won’t play in Toronto again until a 3-game set at the end of June. They also play in Toronto for three of the season’s final six games. So at the end of the year this could be something that Boston has to think about, but that’s a problem for another day.
- Anthony Rendon took his day of rest today, sitting out the Sunday game for the second consecutive week. This could be a pattern for Rendon, at least early in the season, per The Athletic’s Sam Blum (through Twitter). Manager Joe Maddon is cognizant of the fact that, despite it being a new season, Rendon is still coming off surgery. Given the money that Rendon is owed over the next five seasons, it certainly makes sense to value Rendon’s long-term health. The All-Star third baseman turns 32 in June.
- Joe Kelly is probably looking at an early May return to the active roster, if all goes well. He threw bullpen sessions today and looked good, but the club is still likely targeting late April for a rehab assignment to Charlotte, per The Athletic’s James Fegan (through Twitter). Kelly has yet to make his Southside debut, having begun the season on the injured list.