Friday, June 17, 2011

Some Not So Great News on the Injury Front

Sports Illustrated

Last night, the Red Sox won their eleventh game in their past twelve, and completed one of their best road trips in recent memory. However, there was not all good news after last night games. Jed Lowrie was in as the starting shortstop on the lineup card at the start of the game, but was pulled after his first at bat. He struck out in that trip to the plate, and it looked as if he was grimacing as he took the final swing. In the bottom of the inning, Marco Scutaro was in at shortstop, and it turns out Lowrie felt like his shoulder slipped out on that last swing. 

Lowrie has been no stranger to the disabled list in his career, and it looks like he is going to be back there, according to multiple sources via Twitter. Lowrie had never played more than 81 games in a year, and it was looking like this might be the year he gets a full season of work in. However, Drew Sutton was pulled from his game in Pawtucket in the seventh inning, indicating he may be heading up to Boston for the series against Milwaukee. 

This may have been a blessing in disguise for Lowrie, who had been struggling mightily after a hot start to the year. After starting the year hitting at a .368 clip, Lowrie has come back to earth, hitting just .219 since May 1st, including a .111 batting average in June. That may be due to injury, or just plain struggling, but either way a couple weeks off may be a help there. On the other hand, it looks as if the Red Sox will be turning to Marco Scutaro, the Opening Day starter, to take his spot in the lineup. Scutaro is having basically the exact same year he had last season, although it is in a much smaller role. He has not been playing much in June, but has hit well when he has gotten his chances. The Red Sox should not be too concerned at shortstop as long as this isn't a long-term injury for Lowrie.

The bigger injury last night could have happened to Clay Buchholz. The Red Sox starter only threw 81 pitches in five very solid innings, but was lifted due to what is being described as back stiffness. Luckily for the Red Sox, they are already calling up Andrew Miller, who will be making his first start on Monday. This start could help give Buchholz some extra rest, enabling him to miss time on the disabled list. Buchholz has said he doesn't want to land on the DL (duh), but Terry Francona said that he doesn't want his young right hander to experience back problems all year. 

Time will tell on both of these injuries, but the Red Sox are playing well for the time being, and I don't see these injuries having major implications on the season, unless they are compounded by other, more serious, injuries.  

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