It’s been 19 games into the season and Boston has already gotten the an early case of the injury bug. It started in Spring Training, where David Price went down with an elbow injury that many feared would cost him his season. After a second opinion by Dr. James Andrews, better known as (the doctor everyone sees before they get Tommy John), Price ended up being diagnosed with inflammation in his elbow. This so far has sidelined him through the first month, but he is not expected to miss the entire season. Next in spring training, it was newly acquired Tyler Thornburg to go down. The expected 8th inning man went down with a back injury and is still sidelined with an unknown return date. With Pablo Sandoval hitting .220 so far and Travis Shaw having a pretty good start to this year, it seems at least so far the Brewers got the best of the off-season trade.
The Red Sox went into this season with relatively the same line-up as last year, except for the loss of David Ortiz and the addition of Mitch Moreland. Of course this was no small loss for Boston, but Moreland is not a bad hitter. The Sox offense was first in the league in scoring last year and it wasn’t by a small margin. Even with the loss of Ortiz, this was a team that was projected to score runs early and often. However, the line-up they put on the field for opening day ended up being the first and only time they had their full 9 healthy for a game.
One game into the season and the Red Sox got hit with the flu bug. No, they didn’t just get hit, they got leveled by the flu bug. Mookie Betts was the first to fall victim, costing him only a couple games. Robbie Ross Jr. was next who seemed to get it the worst, missing well over a week. The day Mookie got back into the lineup, Hanley Ramirez fell victim to the flu bug. During this stretch, Andrew Benintendi also suffered from the virus as well as some of the Red Sox coaching staff. As if the flu wasn’t bad enough, during the same series in Detroit Jackie Bradley Jr. went down the a knee injury that landed him a ten day stint on the disabled list. It seemed during this time Boston was having trouble producing runs considering they never had their starting 9 on the field. Pitching performances from Pomeranz, E-Rod and especially Chris Sale who has been absolutely dominant, has kept Boston in games.
It seemed like the final game of the three games series in Toronto would be the last time Boston had to go with one of their top guys on the DL. JBJ was supposed to come off during the Baltimore series and Boston would be completely healthy again. That was until Xander Bogaerts took a head first slide into second base and jammed his thumb on the base. It wasn’t serious, but it kept him out for a game and once again Boston was not fully healthy.
During the beginning of the Baltimore series, all Boston had to do was stay healthy for the opener, and they would have their starting lineup back. It all was looking good until now Boston Public Enemy Manny Machado took a questionable slide into second base. With his cleat raised in the air, he managed to spike Dustin Pedroia in an attempt to break up a double play. Dustin went down and remained out the rest of the series.
Now Boston hosts the Yankees on Tuesday. Pedroia’s status still remains uncertain, as well as David Price. Boston could get their starting 9 back as soon as the Yankees series starts, barring another freak injury. The starting 5 in the rotation however, could have to wait another couple months to be healthy. Boston is 11-8 so far with their constant replacements, which is a good sign considering those numbers should only rise once Boston starts to get healthy.