Red Sox injuries? Boston just shrugs it off

Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox sits in the dugout prior to the game against the Chicago White...

Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox sits in the dugout prior to the game against the Chicago White Sox on July 19, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. Pedroia played in his first game since coming off of the disabled list. (JARED WICKERHAM/Getty Images/AFP)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:09 PM ET

BOSTON - Red Sox fans have a message for their Blue Jays counterparts who are frustrated by the Jays' run of injuries: Go whiz up a rope.

When it comes to having players continuously tread to the DL, the Red Sox have no peers.

On Wednesday, having just celebrated the return of outfielders Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox were forced to place veteran slugger David Ortiz on the DL.

Ortiz injured his right Achilles tendon Tuesday. He strained it rounding second base on a home run by Adrian Gonzalez.

Ortiz is the 22nd Red Sox player to have been placed on the disabled list this season.

Boston fans, however, know all about suffering and getting screwed over by the baseball gods -- it's part of their beloved heritage.

This season, by comparison, has been a trial by ordeal for the organization which has a new general manager in Ben Cherington and a lightning rod in manager Bobby Valentine.

Despite all those injuries -- and on Thursday, sparkplug Dustin Pedroia (strained right thumb) was back in the lineup for the first time since July 4 -- the Red Sox have managed to weather the storm and remain in the post-season hunt.

The thinking was that when all of their injured players came back and returned to form, it would provide a second-half surge that would carry them into the playoffs.

It still could happen. Boston is a patient team and time remains very much on their side.

Ortiz is on the DL for a minimum of 15 days and with an Achilles injury, who knows?

"It's probably going to be a week to 10 days before he's ready to go and take a little batting practice," Valentine told reporters. "We'll give him a little extra time on the outside so he's ready to go when he comes off."

To replace Ortiz, the Red Sox called up Mauro Gomez from triple-A Pawtucket but they don't expect Gomez to fill the shoes of Ortiz.

"We're definitely going to miss him," said Crawford, who returned to the team Monday.

Speaking of Crawford, he barely had time to sit in the clubhouse and pull on his uniform when FoxSports.com wrote that the Red Sox had been talking to teams about trading him.

Cherington immediately jumped in to try and squelch the rumours but then again, what else was he supposed to say?

For his part, Crawford is trying to play down the rumours.

"I hadn't heard too much about it but there's really nothing to say about it," he told Boston reporters. "I just shrug it off."

Shrug it off -- that's the team slogan for the Red Sox in 2012.

 


BLUE JAYS AT RED SOX

FRIDAY 7:10 p.m. LHP Aaron Laffey vs. RHP Josh Beckett

SATURDAY 7:10 p.m. RHP Carlos Villanueva vs. RHP Aaron Cook

SUNDAY 1:05 p.m. RHP Henderson Alvarez vs. LHP Jon Lester


RUTSEY'S TAKE

The Red Sox get Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia back, and now they lose David Ortiz to injury. That sort of evens out the Blue Jays' loss of Jose Bautista. The Red Sox, like the Jays, have been crippled by injuries but seem to have better depth at filling the vacant spots. While Boston has shown grit in the face of adversity, the Jays have the look of a team that has hit the wall.

PREDICTION

This road trip against the two perennial heavyweights in the division was seen by the Jays brass as being a turning point. Unfortunately for the Jays, it all appears to be slipping away. The Jays will be fortunate to win one game at Fenway and easily could go 0-6 on the road trip.


RED SOX WHO'S HOT

  • SS Mike Aviles' six-game hit streak ended on Tuesday. He had gone 8-for-19 (.421). He has hit successfully in 14 of his past 18 games.
  • OF Jacoby Ellsbury has had hits in five of the first six games he played since coming off the DL. Over that time, he has gone 11-for-27 (.407).
  • 1B Adrian Gonzalez has at least two hits in 12 of his past 20 games entering Thursday night and has hit safely in 22 of 23 games, going 38-for-94 (.404).

RED SOX WHO'S COLD

  • C Jarrod Saltalamacchia has gone hitless in his past 13 at-bats entering Thursday night, and is 1-for-24 over his past seven games.
  • RHP Josh Beckett is just 1-3 in his past six starts. Over those starts he allowed 21 earned runs over 39 innings pitched for a 4.85 ERA.
  • LHP Jon Lester has not won in three starts in July, going 0-2. Over those three starts he has allowed 10 earned runs in 15 innings for a 6.00 ERA. In the 15 innings he has allowed 16 hits and walked five.

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