The banged up Boston Red Sox outfield took another hit today, when Cody Ross was placed on the 15-day DL with a fractured bone in his left foot. Ross is the sixth Boston outfielder to be placed on the DL, joining starters Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury, as well as Jason Repko, Darnell McDonald, and Ryan Kalish. Of Boston’s four outfielders on the Opening Day roster, only Ryan Sweeney remains off the DL, but that might not last for long, with Sweeney out of tonight’s lineup against the Orioles due to a minor concussion.
I’m not saying that the Red Sox are screwed, but tonight’s starting outfield consists of Daniel Nava, Marlon Byrd, and Che-Hsuan Lin. Nava has played well in his 11 games in the majors this year, OPSing 1.008 with eight walks to only six strikeouts. Byrd on the other hand, has a .618 OPS since coming over from the Cubs (24 games, including just two extra base hits and one walk), and Lin is a defensive specialist who had only a .716 OPS in AAA Pawtucket.
Ross’s injury is a huge blow to Boston’s outfield, as he was actually hitting pretty well for them with an .883 OPS and eight homers, tied for second on the team. This injury will create an interesting situation when Kevin Youkilis comes off the DL from a back injury, potentially in the next couple of days. The team has Adrian Gonzalez and Will Middlebrooks currently hitting well at the corners, and one of them (or Youkilis) could be forced into an outfield position to help the thinned corps there.
Could this be what it’s come to for the Red Sox: playing Adrian Gonzalez in right field? Maybe. I mean, he did play two games in right field this weekend in Philadelphia, with David Ortiz playing first base due to the lack of a DH. I’m sure the Red Sox front office will be very nervous if their high-priced first baseman is traversing the outfield, though.
Photo courtesy of Daylife.com
[h/t: Hardball Talk]