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Boston Red Sox – Team of Broken Dreams (And Ribs, And Feet)

The Red Sox are a broken team, unraveling and hanging by a thread. (http://usversusthem.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/red_sox_unravel_macgregor.jpg)

We all know the situation; the Red Sox are taking on injuries like the Titanic took on water. It’s not a pretty sight. They’re now three games behind the Rays for the Wild-card, and five behind the Yankees for the division. They went 4-6 in their last 10 games before the All Star break, while the other two went 8-2. Clearly, the Sox need to step it up and get their injured players back in order to compete. But that won’t stop plenty in the media from speculating whether or not it’s too late. When the injury list runs into the teens, you can’t really blame them. It’ll take awhile to get through all these broken Sox that have to get better, so let’s get to it, shall we?

Day-to-Day

Adrian Beltre – strained left hamstring – 7/11

Beltre hurt himself running into first against the Jays. It wasn’t quite a Kendry Morales moment, but it has called into question Beltre’s appearance in the All Star game. It didn’t seem too bad, since he stayed in the game for an inning defensively before leaving.

Effect – Minimal

Beltre has been an effective bat in the heart of the lineup. Errors aside, this just doesn’t seem serious enough to cause any lingering problems.

Kevin Youkilis – right ankle – 7/6

After his ankle locked up, Youk didn’t really miss a beat. It was pretty much a freak accident that didn’t really affect him at all.

Effect – None

Youk recently singled against the Blue Jays in his last appearance Sunday.

J.D. Drew – stiff neck – 6/30

Stiff neck, vertigo, hamstring, hamstring again, and now another neck. How has this guy not landed on the DL yet this year?

Effect – None

Drew has been playing full games for awhile now, but he is pretty fragile.

15-Day DL

Manny Delcarmen – right forearm strain 7/1

Delcarmen has given up 17 earned runs in 33.1 innings pitched this season. He has given up four home runs, 20 walks, and has struck out 23. Overall, he hasn’t impressed me that much, as the bullpen has had some major problems at times.

Effect – Minor

With starters, Bard, and Papelbon, expectations weren’t exceedingly high for Delcarmen. And it’s not like this was a break or something bad. There’s no real reason to say Delcarmen won’t get back to his usual self.

Jason Varitek – broken right foot – 7/1

Varitek broke his own foot with a foul ball, and will miss a total of six weeks, with a margin of error of +/- two weeks. With Varitek out, the Sox had to resort to trading for Kevin Cash.

Effect – Substantial

Varitek was a huge home run threat, and is the personal catcher for Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Missing him will not only hurt the run support, but kills off chemistry with 40% of the starting staff.

Victor Martinez – broken left thumb – 6/28

Martinez took a foul off his thumb and foot. It’s pretty much the worst injury for a catcher. He needs that thumb to catch.

Effect – Substantial

Martinez is the Sox’ #1 catcher, and right there in the heart of the lineup. It’s not like Martinez was in there to eat up space, either. That’s a legitimate bat the Sox are losing.

Clay Buchholz – strained left hamstring – 6/27

Buchholz pulled his hammy running to second, and will miss some time because of it. It’s a tough loss, but at least Tim Wakefield is there to eat up some of the room. Buchholz beat out Wakefield for the last starting spot in Spring Training.

Effect – Bad

Buchholz is 10-4 in 15 starts, including a complete-game shutout. He has a respectable 2.45 ERA. This loss is particularly bad because a good case could be made for Buchholz to be the Sox’ #1 pitcher.

Dustin Pedroia – broken left foot – 6/26

Yet another case of a foul ball breaking a foot. We all know about this type of thing by now.

Effect – Medium

Pedroia was able to field grounders from his knees just days after breaking the foot, which is a good sign. We’ll all miss his bat and defense, but at least Bill Hall and Eric Patterson aren’t abysmal failures in the meantime.

Mike Lowell – strained right hip – 6/23

Lowell has experienced discomfort in his hip, and went to the DL to make room for Matsuzaka, who was coming off it. Lowell’s hip is surgically repaired from 2008.

Effect – None

Let’s face it: Lowell is a waste of roster space to the Sox this year, especially with Ortiz good again.

Jeremy Hermida – broken ribs – 6/10

Hermida injured his ribs after colliding with Adrian Beltre, just like Jacoby Ellsbury. Maybe it’s a good thing Beltre hurt himself if he keeps taking out all of Boston’s outfielders. Hermida recently took batting practice.

Effect – None

I like Daniel Nava and Darnell McDonald.

Jacoby Ellsbury – broken ribs – 5/28

Ellsbury has had nagging rib problems ever since Beltre smashed them up. It sounds like this will be awhile to full heal, even after Ellsbury returns.

Effect – Bad

The Sox have some pretty good backups, but Ellsbury was the only real speed threat the Sox had to work with. Nagging injuries rarely go away completely, and it’s always more likely it will resurface.

Josh Beckett – lower back strain – 5/19

After working through some back problems, Beckett’s first rehab stint with Pawtucket went well. He went four innings (68 pitches) and gave up one run, but that was a homer. Cathcer Mark Wagner tried to take the blame, but Beckett still threw the pitch. Another rehab start is in order before the Sox think about bringing Beckett back.

Effect – Pretty Good

Boston’s “ace” hasn’t been very consistent this year, and when he has, he’s been putrid. After signing an extension then not trying, Beckett is a sunk cost that I am not happy to see eating up cap space. The Yankees always love throwing money around, so maybe they’d be interested in sending Hughes or Vasquez Boston’s way, along with prospects. They’ll be signing Cliff Lee during the off-season, anyway. so they can afford to part with one of them.

60-Day DL

Junichi Tazawa – right elbow surgery – 4/3

Tazawa (remember him?) is out for the season following Tommy John surgery.

Effect – Minimimal

Tazawa was never that much of a thought even in 2009, and the Sox have a bunch of other pitchers to work with. Maybe he could help a little with the injured rotation or with the bullpen, but whatever.

Jed Lowrie – mononucleosis – 3/26

Jed Lowrie is out with the kissing disease. That’s a fun disease to be out with, at least for hanging-at-the-clubs purposes. Lowrie is currently on a rehab assignment with Single-A Lowell Spinners.

Effect – None

I had honestly forgotten about Lowrie. The current infield is more than capable of holding its own.

The Next Injury

Terry Francona – Seppuku – Out Forever

A perennial World Series contending manager, Francona has got to have boiling blood lately.

Effect – Depends

The more involved Francona was in off-season acquisitions, the better this would be. Focusing on defense was good, but I would have preferred more bats instead of a high focus on pitching; you can see where that got Boston.

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