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The MVP field thins

Posted by Adam Kilgore, Globe Staff  September 5, 2008 03:08 PM

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The surging MVP candidacy of Dustin Pedroia may have received an unfortunate boost today with the news that White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin could miss the remainder of the season with what the Associated Press is reporting is a broken right wrist.

Quentin was removed from the lineup before Tuesday’s game because of what the White Sox described then as a sore right forearm, and he hasn’t played since. The team said yesterday that he was hurt during last Monday’s game at Cleveland.

Quentin, who has been hit by a major-league high 20 pitches this season, will have surgery Monday, according the AP. A screw will be inserted into the wrist, and he will be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks.

Quentin’s slugging made him perhaps the leading candidate to win the MVP award. He leads the league with 36 home runs, is fourth with 100 RBIs, fourth in SLG at .571, sixth in OBP at .394 and boasts a fantastic OPS+ of 149. And he did it all -- or at least was doing it all -- for a first-place team.

Should Quentin miss the stretch run, it also significantly weakens the White Sox postseason chances, which would again help the Red Sox. Boston is currently four games up over the Central-leading White Sox and 5.5 games up on the Minnesota Twins in the wild card race.

It was hard to imagine both teams passing the Red Sox with Quentin around. Now it seems nearly impossible.

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