Injuries may test our team down the stretch

The Red Sox have only had to use the disabled list nine times so far this season, and that has played a big role in their success this season. When we won it in 2004, our starting rotation stayed remarkably healthy; same story for the White Sox the following year. Health is critical to a team’s success.

For comparison, the Yankees have had players hit the DL 12 times this year (none recently, as you can see from their surge). The Angels have utilized the DL 14 times this year, the Tigers 15 times and the Indians just 8 times.

Dustin Pedroia left tonight’s game with a bruised elbow after being hit by a pitch, and Eric Hinske was also forced to leave with calf cramping. That could seriously cramp our infield’s style, should they miss any significant time.

And if that wasn’t enough, there are some ongoing injury risks this year. David Ortiz has struggled with knee pain, though he looked good in legging out a triple on Tuesday against Tampa Bay. Mike Timlin has spent a lot of time on the DL, and has looked on and off like himself this year. J.D. Drew continues to struggle with his hamstrings, and this is the time of year Manny’s hammies act up as well.

Potential risks also loom for Hideki Okajima, who has logged the most appearances in a season for his career, and Jonathan Papelbon, whose shoulder wore down last season down the stretch.

Still, if the injury bug is going to hit, at least we get the roster expansion in September. That should allow us to rest guys and get healthy for the playoffs. It’ll be fun to see Jacoby Ellsbury, Brandon Moss and others up here again.


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