COMMENTARY | Compared to other years, the Boston Red Sox have been relatively healthy so far in 2013. Andrew Bailey, who has closed out multiple games so far this year, was activated from the disabled list on Monday after spending just over three weeks battling bicep tendonitis.
His return could not come at a better time for Boston, who has been on a bit of a roll lately after struggling in early May. The team recently lost their other closer, Joel Hanrahan, for the season and the temporary replacement, Junichi Tazawa, is better served working out of the bullpen as a middle reliever.
Aside from small injuries like Shane Victorino's latest--he was pulled from Monday's game with another nagging hamstring injury, but doesn't believe it to be too serious and certainly not worth a stint on the DL--Boston has a near-completely healthy lineup. Here's a quick look at the remaining Red Sox on the DL:
RP Joel Hanrahan
Hanrahan's second trip to the DL this season will be his last after undergoing Tommy John surgery on May 16th. His initial trip on April 14th was for a hamstring strain, and the return from that on April 30th coincided with Bailey's placement on the DL. There will be no "closer controversy" as Hanrahan is done for the year, and most likely as a member of the Red Sox given that he is a free agent this offseason. His recovery time is expected to take between 12 and 14 months.
Morales has not yet thrown a pitch this season for the Red Sox, but he's inching closer. He's missed the entire season with first a back injury then a left pectoral strain. He has, however, begun making rehab appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket to less than stellar results. His latest outing--four innings--consisted of five runs, three hits, three walks and two home runs. Manager John Farrell wants him to get at least another start under his belt, indicating that he's likely to join the Red Sox rotation rather than their bullpen when he finally makes his debut.
OF Ryan Kalish
When Kalish underwent right shoulder arthroscopy in January, the target return date had always been somewhere in late May to early June. That still appears to be the case, as he awaits clearance to even begin swinging a bat. There's little reason to rush as he'll join a somewhat crowded outfield fighting for playing time. This is just the latest injury return for Kalish who has been plagued by them since began his MLB career.
Concussions are always touch and go, but David Ross's appears to be subsiding for now. He was placed on the DL on May 12th after catching two foul balls off his mask the day before, but was cleared Monday to begin throwing and hitting off of a tee.
Ross was lucky to escape serious injury a week earlier, after a rough-looking collision with teammate Will Middlebrooks on a routine pop-up that caused both players to leave the game. Ross only missed a few games with a quad contusion as a result of that play. Middlebrooks ended up recording the out.
Though Ross has only appeared in 15 games so far, his catcher's ERA of 2.69 is third in the AL and much better than Jarrod Saltalamacchia's still-respectable 4.34. Neither player has been particularly steady with the bat this year, but Ross's ability to call a strong game will be a welcomed return.
Andrew Luistro has followed the Red Sox for over 20 years.
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- Joel Hanrahan
- Andrew Bailey