8-6-2010: Youkilis lost for the year, Cleveland redux, Yankees on tap

Now comes the disturbing and somehow predictable news… Kevin Youkilis will have surgery today and will miss the rest of the 2010 season. This news could not have come at a worse time, with guys like Dustin Pedroia and Mike Cameron still out, Victor Martinez playing hurt and Jacoby Ellsbury just trying to get back into the swing of things. We need to win now if we want to stay in the chase.

What will the Red Sox do about first base? For now, they will play Mike Lowell there every day. Despite his Daniel Nava-like heroics in his first at-bat, there are still some serious health concerns with Lowell. He may not be able to play every day, so we’re going to need a quality left-handed bat to complement him. For now, there are no plans to promote Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Lars Anderson. Theo Epstein would like to see if Salty can stick at catcher, so he’ll be working on that for now. J.P. Ricciardi really likes the addition of Salty, and says that it could really pay off down the line.

As far as other options, I think the Sox are trying to avoid paying any real talent to try and salvage what looks like it could be a lost year already. Jed Lowrie has reportedly taken some reps at first base as a fill-in for when Lowell can’t go. They will reportedly audition Carlos Delgado, and they do have room on the 40-man roster, but I’d be surprised if the Sox committed to play him while Lowell is around. He’s an option only if Lowell clears waivers and is traded. There are some other DFA/FA options out there as well, such as Casey Kotchman and Daric Barton.

After 115 days, we finally got to see Ellsbury back atop the lineup, and he promptly went 0-5. But he’s back (with Nava optioned back to Pawtucket). And that’s pretty much how the Cleveland series went. I’ll give Jon Lester a pass on this start; he and his wife just welcomed a baby last week, and that wreaks all kinds of havoc on you, trust me. Clay Buchholz is also a new father, so congratulations to both of them… Former Red Sox Justin Masterson continued his dominance of Boston this season. There was a rumor that the Sox looked into reacquiring him at the deadline as a reliever/swingman, but the Indians weren’t biting.

What to say about Daisuke Matsuzaka? Every time you reach the end of your patience with him, he turns in an outing like that. Here’s an interesting piece that shows his competitiveness is still there… That’s fine with me; every good start helps us and simply raises his trade value for the offseason… Hideki Okajima continues to report physical troubles, which are likely related to his poor performance this year. The guy’s body is a wreck this season.

It’s very likely that the fate of this season could be decided by the end of next week. We have a big four-game series in the Bronx, and I honestly think we need to win three or four if we want to have even an outside shot at the playoffs. Sox Therapy puts our chances of a sweep at around 3.5%. Hey, there’s always hope.

As for all the waiver wire stuff, it’s pretty much a non-story while we’re talking about revocable waivers. Jonathan Papelbon was claimed? No problem, we just pull him back and can’t waive him again this year without the risk of losing him.

With the Pawtucket roster getting crowded, the Sox traded Juan Apodaca and Argenis Diaz to the Indians for future considerations.


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