Red Sox’ Injuries Plague Team into Bad Stretch

It seems that the Red Sox can not catch a break when it comes to staying healthy. Drew Red Sox' InjuriesPomeranz left his most recent game after experiencing left-forearm tightness, while Marco Hernandez banged up his shoulder just the other day. This is a team that is looking to turn things around after losing consecutive series to Milwaukee and Tampa Bay. If it weren’t for a late Mookie Betts home-run on Thursday, we would have been swept by Travis Shaw’s Brewers. The Red Sox’ injuries have been coming fast and furious so far, and hopefully can come to an end soon.

Are the Red Sox’ Injuries to blame for hitting rough patch?

Pomeranz, Hernandez, Stephen Wright, Pablo Sandoval (surprisingly), Brock Holt, and Hanley Ramirez have all faced injuries this season. Meanwhile, David Price, Roenis Elias, Tyler Thornburg, and Carson Smith have not appeared in a game yet this year. Going into this season, arguably every one of those names were ones that were going to make a huge impact this year. Sure, there is still plenty of time for some of these guys to contribute. Dave Dombrowski is going to have to make a decision soon, though. The inconsistencies in the lineup, bullpen, and back-end of the starting rotation all start with the injuries.

Red Sox’ Injuries or Red Sox’ Slump?

With a lack of depth in the roster due to injuries, several players have hit their own cold spells. Rick Porcello and Jackie Bradley Jr have slumped in their respective roles because they have so much pressure on them to succeed. Last year, Porcello went under the radar for a decent amount of the year before ultimately winning the Cy Young. Bradley was able to alleviate stressful situations last season because there were more guys in the lineup who could get RBI. Are these guys slumping because of the added pressure that injuries bring, or because they simply are struggling? The same question can be asked about Mitch Moreland and Andrew Benintendi, who started the year off hot, but have cooled down tremendously, (as the injuries have rolled in). Only time will tell if the Sox will break their rut, but a little more luck with health wouldn’t hurt either.

Clay Buchholz: Head games

Clay BuchholzOkay, let’s cut to the chase shall we? Clay Buchholz has been absolutely horrendous this season, no arguing that. Last season, Clay came out of the gates strong and it seemed nothing could slow him down. Then a mid season injury struck, he came back and still pitched solid down the stretch for the Sox. Playoff time was a bit of a different story for Buchholz. You could tell in his few postseason starts that Clay wasn’t the same, he labored to get through a solid 5 innings for the most part. That was okay though, we knew that maybe he was still a little banged up, but at least he was keeping the team in position to win. It seemed easy to think that he just needed the offseason to recover and he’d be back at the top of his form that we’ve expected since that no hitter in 2007.

Now the story that is coming out after his recent shelling down in Atlanta is that the right hander lost 7 pounds during his outing?? I’m sorry Farrell, but I don’t think I can believe that utter nonsense. On top of that, it seems that poor Clay has hyperextended his knee and has landed back on the DL. Seriously? The problem with Clay isn’t just his body, it’s the fact that he’s the softest guy on the staff. He needs to be coddled like a baby after he sucks. There has always been a reason for a poor effort by Clay, never that he just didn’t have it. So it comes as no shock to me that Clay has another poor outing and of course lands back on the DL.

Sorry Clay, at the top of your game you’re a great pitcher, but when will that be? Your seasons are so up and down from year to year, you always have an excuse. We HATE excuses in Boston. You’ll probably go on to have a decent career, but I don’t think it’s a path the Red Sox should take.

After this season Boston should look to part ways for good with Clay Buchholz. The Red Sox put up with antics from guys like Manny Ramirez for one reason, he was an elite player. Clay is a good pitcher when he’s on, but why should we have to put up with him and his buddies sleeping over at Fenway Park because he can’t walk/drive a mile to his house? That would have been fine, but Clay got absolutely hammered on the mound on Patriot’s Day. This leaves us no option to wonder what actually went on at Fenway that night? The Red Sox need consistency on the mound and they just aren’t going to get it right now with Clay Buchholz.

It seems that the Red Sox will always need to worry what’s going on inside Clay’s head.

David Ortiz To Play In Opener

David Ortiz To Play In Opener

Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz is in the Opening Day lineup after sitting out the team’s final two exhibition games due to stiffness in his right calf.

The move to sit Ortiz was more precautionary and a good opportunity to provide the long-time veteran with some extra rest. The Red Sox will have just three days off during the month of April.

The 38-year old slugger is no stranger to lower leg issues and even the slightest hint of a problem is enough to have Red Sox fans fearing for the worst.

In 2012, Ortiz injured his right Achilles tendon in mid-July and missed the remainder of the season. Up until that point, Ortiz was having an All-Star caliber year batting .318 with 23 home runs, and 60 RBI in 324 at-bats over 90 games.

In 2013, Ortiz missed all of Spring Training and made his season debut on April 20th following his now famous pre-game “This is our [expletive] city” speech. Ortiz went on to hit .309 with 30 home runs and 103 RBI during the regular-season and was vintage David Ortiz leading the Red Sox to their third World Series championship of the last ten years.

Over the course of Spring Training, Ortiz batted .054 with one home run, two RBI and 13 strikeouts over 37 at-bats.

Terrible spring numbers, while sometimes alarming, are not a reliable tool in forecasting the outlook of a veteran major leaguer. Over the last eight spring training’s, Ortiz batted above .250 just once batting .333, over 24 at-bats, in the spring of 2006.

David Ortiz will have his fair share of health scares throughout the remainder of his big league career. Few players are able to remain as productive as he has been at such an advanced age. Every missed at-bat, every day off and every jog down the first base line will be dissected and discussed a million times over. Something every player on the wrong side of 35 can expect every day they continue to put on a uniform.

David Ortiz is the team’s longest-tenured member and a vital part of the team’s plans for a successful 2014 season. Injuries will always be part of the game and the Red Sox cannot afford to lose David Ortiz for any extended length of time.

The Red Sox feature one of the deeper rosters in Major League baseball, but nobody is capable of replacing David Ortiz.

John Lackey Seems to be Okay but Farrell is being Cautious

John Lackey

John Lackey appears to have avoided a serious injury. (AP)

It’s Wednesday, April 10, two days after the Sox won their opening game at Fenway against the Orioles, and John Lackey does not have a tear in his right biceps.  It’s a good day for all.  The sun is shining and “We Will Rock You” is playing on the radio, in the background, at my infamous coffee shop in downtown Gloucester, MA; my recently claimed office. A perfect song for the way things are going for the Sox this season.

Despite Lackey not having a strain in his biceps, John Farrell is being very cautious to take things with ease.  After all, he just came out of rehab from a major elbow surgery, and although post recovery is known to cause pain and discomfort, both Farrell and Lackey remain in waiting.  Case in point, what we saw Saturday the moment Lackey fell backward in great pain was not the typical ‘discomfort’ felt in post surgery conditions. Ever more of a reason to lay low.  Lackey felt great throughout spring training, and had shown positive results, but the day of the game against the Blue Jays, it has been noted, he had not thrown at that intensity since before the surgery, which gives Farrell reason to lay off the all-star. 1365444015579_248_21xueQmqlubf1_0_0 In spite of everything that has occurred over the last couple of days,  Lackey does have a couple of days to recover before he is scheduled to play in Sunday’s game.  Clay Bucholz pitched a great game Monday, and Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront are scheduled to complete the series against the Orioles Wednesday and Thursday.  That gives Lackey time to recover.  Although that may be, Farrell remains skeptical so as not to cause further injury.

Lackey’s Progress

John Lackey

John Lackey of the Boston Red Sox made his season debut on Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays. His outing was cut short in the 5th inning when he hurt his throwing arm on a wild pitch. According to NESN’s Jenny Dell, Lackey suffered a right bicep strain, which has to be a relief to everyone. Lackey went 4.1 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 8.

We still aren’t sure of John Lackey’s arm injury, but word around town is there is a strain in his right biceps brachii.  What does this mean? Well, hoping that’s all it is, it means John Lackey still has a chance of being the Sox’ starting pitcher as the team heads for Boston today for Opening Day. Although that may be, it’s still concerning to the team due to his previous Tommy John surgery on his elbow. Those who have undergone the surgery, like Lackey, have felt discomfort in the biceps post surgery. However, they still don’t know if there is any connection.  We are eagerly awaiting the results.

bicepsbrachii

Increasing pain in the front of your shoulder or in your biceps due to overuse is a biceps strain or tendinitis. Lifting objects over your head causes symptoms to worsen.  A common cause of a biceps strain, besides overuse,  is poor mechanics.  Throwing (as in John Lackey’s case) is a prime action that could impose this inflammation.  The biceps brachii muscle is composed of two muscles, the long head and short head, which are attached to the front of the shoulder and elbow via tendons. The tendons are most vulnerable to a biceps strain during a fast or sudden movement where the arm is raised overhead and dragged across the body such as a throwing motion. 

Lackey’s MRI in Boston was scheduled for yesterday morning, April 7 at 11:00 A.M.  The results should be in soon and I will keep you posted, but as we stay put for the news, we have to cheer on the rest of the players, as they arrive home to play the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon.

One last question: if John Lackey is out, who will take his spot in the line up? Will it be Alfredo Acevez or Alan Webster?

Pitch 76

76

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey works against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game in Toronto on Saturday, April 6, 2013. The Canadian Press, Chris Young / AP Photo

 

What a shame it was Saturday, April 6, in Toronto.  John Lackey was doing such an amazing job at the mound, but when pitch # 76 came he fell back and held his bicep in pain.  What was it?  Fans and others including John Farrell were struck with angst as Lackey was immediately taken from the mound in the middle of an at bat.  At the bottom of the fifth and 76 pitches, Lackey had six strike outs (51 strikes in all).  He put on quite a show despite the Sox’ 5-0 loss against the Jays and despite the two runs he let in.  What could it be?

Lackey’s stress test after the game showed positive results, but an unanticipated pain in the belly of his bicep left Lackey and Farrell in wonder. If it wasn’t his elbow (thank God) or his shoulder, what happened on the 76th pitch that could disrupt his bicep so suddenly?  After the game, at a conference, Farrell discussed it as an astonishment, for he had seen nothing like it happen before.  Lackey will be flown to Boston tomorrow for an MRI in hopes it is nothing too serious.

We all hope it’s nothing too serious.  After all, he worked so hard in the off season losing what Farrell believes, 25 pounds, and getting in shape to be on top.  As I was listening to the game on 93.7 while in my car, driving to the city, I caught the sports broadcasters say, “He has never looked so good in a baseball uniform before”.  Lackey deserves to be on top.  I hope we do see him in Boston this upcoming week. Not on the bench, but on the mound where he belongs.