|BOSTON, MA - MAY 01: Carl Crawford #13 of the Boston Red Sox is congratulated by teammates Jacoby Ellsbury #2 and David Ortiz #34 (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)|
A rash of outfield injuries that is beginning to mirror the 2010 season, has tested Bobby Valentine and the Sox' resiliency but the team has come up with some unlikely contributions to keep the ball rolling.
In Wednesdays contest against the O's, recently acquired outfielder Scott Podsednik hit his first homer since September of 2010 to give the Sox an insurance run in the eighth inning. Before his homer, Daniel Nava had broke a 2-2 tie with his 2nd bomb of the season.
The Sox have had 7 outfielders go on the disabled list this season, with 2 of the regulars Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney just this week.
The closing job was thrown into a state of flux when Andrew Bailey injured his thumb on a play against the Pirates in spring training, yet here we are and after a rough start, the Red Sox are firing on all cylinders.
With Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Andrew Bailey and Daisuke Matsuzaka all expected back sometime this summer, the Sox just need to pull out of the basement and keep pace in the AL East.
Ellsbury had a .928 OPS, 32 HR, 105 RBI's in 2011, earning him runner up for the AL MVP award. Surely the Red Sox will get a boost when he gets back to centerfield.
Although Carl Crawford was a huge disappointment last season, I have to assume that his defense in left will be better than that of Cody Ross, who often times looks lost. If he can get close to the game changer he was in Tampa, the Red Sox will be a better team with him on the roster.
Andrew Bailey was cleared to start throwing this week, so barring setback, his return looks inevitable at some point this season. If he can stay healthy and get to the level he's capable of, the Sox can slot him in the ninth eventually and move Alfredo Aceves to the middle innings where his value is maximized. Win-Win for the team if it happens.
The way the boys are playing right now, it's hard not to be optimistic. We won't get ahead of ourselves because they're still in the cellar, but there's plenty to look forward to in the coming months.
Do you think the Red Sox can make a run at the postseason this summer? Will the mid-summer additions make a difference, or will the Sox remain a cellar dweller? Let us know what you think by commenting or voting on the poll in the right sidebar.
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