The Red Sox have had their share of injuries in the early going this season. From starting pitchers to key position players, Ben Cherington has had to plug roster holes with a combination of veterans and up-and-coming youngsters. Let’s take a look at where the Sox stand with injuries, and when key players might be back in the major league lineup.
Clay Buchholz: Hyperextended left knee
Buchholz has struggled mightily all season and eventually landed on the DL on May 27 with what the team said was a hyperextended left knee after his latest disasterous start. The Sox righthander was scheduled to throw a simulated game Monday, but that was pushed back to Saturday while he works on his mechanics in the bullpen. There is no timetable for Buchholz to return to the Red Sox rotation. “We’re kind of looking at this in phases,” John Farrell said. “Once we get through the simulated game we’ll take a closer look at what the next best steps are.” If Rubby De La Rosa and Brandon Workman continue to pitch well, Buchholz may not be back in the Boston rotation until July. Buchholz is 2-4 with a 7.02 ERA in 2014.
Felix Doubront: Strained left shoulder
During a game against the Blue Jays on May 20, Red Sox manager John Farrell pulled Doubront in the fifth inning because of an injury to the starter’s left shoulder. Doubront went on the DL the next day. The 26-year-old lefty said he bumped his throwing shoulder on a car door before the start against the Jays, causing a contusion that limited what his arm was able to do. He is 2-4 with a 5.12 ERA this season. Doubront has thrown two bullpen sessions as he prepares for his return to the rotation. Brandon Workman has filled in for Doubront in the rotation. No timetable has been set for Doubront’s rehab assignment.
Mike Carp: Fractured right foot
Carp was placed on the 15-day DL Monday with a fractured right foot and Daniel Nava was recalled from the PawSox. Carp, who will be in a walking boot for a week and wil need a week of rehab before he can begin baseball activities. Carp — who sustained the injury via a curveball off his foot from Braves reliever David Hale last week — is expected to miss a few weeks before returning to the active roster.
Ryan Lavarnway: Strained left wrist
Lavarnway was placed on the 15-day DL on May 30. The Red Sox catcher/first baseman injured his left wrist in a game against the Braves last week. He was diagnosed with a broken hamate bone in his left wrist, and while the injury will require surgery, Lavarnway could return before the end of the season. Lavarnway was 0-for-4 since being called up to Boston before the injury. To replace Lavarnway on the roster, the Red Sox called up Milton native Alex Hassan from Pawtucket.
Will Middlebrooks: Fractured right index finger
Middlebrooks was placed on the 15-day DL on May 17 after breaking his right index finger in a 1-0 loss to the Tigers, adding to a long list of woes for the Red Sox third baseman. Middlebrooks is regaining full range of motion in his finger and is expected to begin baseball activities soon. He was eligible to come off the DL Monday, but it look like he’ll need more time to get ready for game action. While Middlebrooks was out, the Red Sox acquired shortstop Stephen Drew and Xander Bogaerts has moved over to third base. Middlebrooks was batting .197/.305/.324 in 21 games before going on the DL. He also was sidelined for 19 games in April with a right calf strain.
Mike Napoli: Left finger sprain
Napoli is expected to return to the lineup on Sunday against the Tigers after being placed on the 15-day disabled list May with a left ring finger sprain suffered in Chicago on April 15 when he dove head-first into second base attempting to steal second base. The Red Sox first baseman was dealing with a variety of physical issues — toe, calf, hamstring — before going on the DL with the finger injury. With Napoli out and Mike Carp landing on the DL as well, the Red Sox have used rookie Brock Holt at first base.
David Ortiz: Strained right calf
Ortiz has not gone on the DL, but he has missed a couple of games for precautionary reasons for having tightness in his right calf. Big Papi missed the final five games of spring training due to the strained calf, but has managed to play through it for the most part. John Farrell said Ortiz would have to continue to “manage the situation” for the forseeable future.
Dustin Pedroia: Right hand injury
Pedroia left Friday’s game against the Rays at Fenway in the 10th inning with what was described as a right hand contusion. Pedroia sustained the injury when the Rays’ Wil Myers stole second base in the second inning and played through it until he was replaced by Jonathan Herrera in the Red Sox 3-2 extra inning win. Red Sox manager John Farrell said Pedroia had an MRI that came back negative. Pedroia missed Saturday’s game against the Rays, but has been back in the lineup since. The Red Sox second baseman is batting .273 with two homers and 17 RBIs on the season.
Shane Victorino: Strained right hamstring
The Red Sox rightfielder went on the DL for a strained right hamstring for the second time this season on May 24. Victorino suffered the injury in spring training and originally went on the DL May 30 before coming off on April 20. Red Sox manager John Farrell said the team would be “a little more cautious” with Victorino this time around. He isn’t eligible to be reinstated from the DL until at least June 8. He has begun light running but no timetable has been set for his latest rehab assignment. In limited duty this season, Victorino is batting .242/.276/.352 with 10 RBIs.
Steven Wright: Sports hernia surgery
Wright made his first rehab start for Double-A Portland since being placed on the 60-day disabled list following surgery for a sports hernia in January. The knuckleballer allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits, a walk and four strikeouts in five innings of work in his first start for the Sea Dogs. In his latest rehab start on May 31, Wright allowed two earned runs on seven hits, one walk, and six strikeouts in six innings of work for Pawtucket.
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