The Boston Red Sox are off to a fast start in the 2015 MLB season, coming into Tuesday’s game at Fenway Park against the Washington Nationals at 5-2, with an early lead in the American League East Division and tied for the third-best record in the Majors. But already, the injury woes that have plagued the team for the past several years are threatening to put a damper on the Red Sox attempt to go from worst-to-first for the second time in three seasons.
After Opening Day at Fenway on Monday, the team was mainly concerned about left fielder Hanley Ramirez, signed to a four-year, $88 million contract as a free agent, after Ramirez fouled a ball hard off his foot during Boston’s 9-4 victory in the home opener.
While Ramirez was in the lineup for Tuesday night’s start against Washington, shortstop Xander Bogaerts was missing.
Bogaerts appeared to slip while rounding third base on a play during Monday’s game and immediately began stretching his right leg. But he stayed in the lineup and at the time, did not seem hurt.
But the 22-year-old Aruba native woke up on Tuesday feeling additional discomfort in his his right knee — enough discomfort that the Red Sox kept him out of the lineup Tuesday and sent him for an MRI examination of the knee.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the results of that MRI scan on Bogaerts’ knee had not been revealed. Meanwhile, versatile super-sub Brock Holt got the start at shortstop for Tuesday’s game.
Another highly-touted prospect, Cuban import Rusney Castillo will also need to miss some time after injuring his shoulder in a minor-league game with the Red Sox Triple-A Pawtucket affiliate.
Castillo, who signed a seven-year, $72 million contract with the Red Sox last year before ever playing a professional baseball game in the United States, was controversially sent down to the minors at the end of Spring Training, but was widely expected to join the Boston club sometime before the end of April.
But that possibility now appears remote, as Castillo was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.
“Rusney made a diving play a couple a nights ago with Pawtucket and jarred the right shoulder,” said Red Sox Manager John Farrell. “He has some inflammation in the right shoulder. The MRI has revealed no structural issues. It’s going to be a little bit of time with rest and rehab.”
Right-handed pitcher Brandon Workman, who played a key role in the Red Sox 2013 postseason run to a World Series championship, was already on the minor league disabled list with a right elbow issue. But on Tuesday, Boston revealed the the 26-year-old — who was expected to bolster the Red Sox bullpen later this season — has an appointment with Dr. James Andrews, which is often a prelude to season-ending Tommy John surgery.
[Image: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]