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Monday, July 2, 2012

Don't Call it a Comeback for Ryan Kalish

"I’ll be back as soon as I humanly can be.”  These words, uttered by Ryan Kalish, roughly one year ago, after injuring his left shoulder making a diving catch at McCoy.  But only a short time later, a new injury popped up, prolonging Kalish's return to the majors.  His neck, which had also been injured on the same diving catch, continued to ail Kalish.  


It was then confirmed on Wednesday, August 31st, that the season would in fact be over for Ryan Kalish, as he was going under the knife for surgery on his troublesome neck.  Tito was, at the time, very confident that Kalish was going to be ready in time for Spring Training.  In retrospect, we know this clearly wasn't an accurate assumption.  
Ryan Kalish
Ryan Kalish (Photo credit: Bart Hanlon)


Ryan Kalish, who along with bringing a high level of energy and excitement, hit .252 with 16 XBH and 10 SB in just 53 games for the Sox, was still a ways off from making a triumphant return to Yawkey Way.  On the verge of becoming the next "outfielder of the future", Kalish was now an afterthought.
But after much time, pain, and perseverance, Ryan Kalish was able to make his return.  Despite the two major surgeries on his neck and shoulder.  In 9 games with the PawSox, Kalish was killing it.  Swatting 4 home runs and tallying 10 RBI, to go along with a .378 batting average.  While expected to spend a bit more time in AAA, an injury to Ryan Sweeney forced the Red Sox hand.  


In a recent interview, Kalish made it known that with the recent injuries, he was going to have to alter his style of play and tone it down a notch from his reckless abandon.  Knowing when to slide feet-first, versus headfirst, will be one such change.  But, as Kalish puts it: "I'm confident in how I'm feeling.  If the time calls, I've got to lay out for my team."


Here's hoping for success for this kid, because I think he could be a fixture in the Red Sox outfield for years to come.  With all the uncertainty surrounding Jacoby Ellsbury's future with the team, as well as Cody Ross being a FA after this year, Kalish has an opportunity to stick.  But for the time being, he only needs to worry about contributing this year.  And with that pinch-hit double yesterday, he's well on his way.  

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