If there wasn’t enough cause for concern with the Boston Red Sox lately, they have plenty of reasons to panic now. Centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury did what any player is taught to do when going into second base on a double play grounder – slide hard and break it up. But unfortunately for Ellsbury, Tampa Bay Rays‘ shortstop Reid Brignac fell awkwardly on his shoulder, dislocating it in the process. We didn’t know the severity of the injury until Jacoby Ellsbury took to Twitter:
This is a huge loss for the struggling Red Sox. They are already without Carl Crawford -who isn’t the same player he was in Tampa Bay anyways – and now the Red Sox are without their MVP from last season. It’s safe to assume that Ellsbury wasn’t going to repeat his sensational season from a year ago – but all things considered – he’s right behind Dustin Pedroia in terms of value.
With Cody Ross and Ryan Sweeney being everyday outfielders for the Carmines, their outfield was already pretty thin as is. But with this injury and Darnell McDonald taking a majority of the bats in centerfield, the outfield is going to be a wasteland in Fenway Park. Just for a quick go-to stat, the Red Sox might not even earn 2-WAR out of that starting outfield alignment. And whenever Crawford does return, he might make improve it by one or two, but not enough to make a significant difference.
We all know the issues the Red Sox have with their pitching staff, but now their line-up looks quite pedestrian. They have 3 1/2 players in their line-up who strike fear in me. Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, and David Ortiz are legitimate forces in the line-up, while Kevin Youkilis isn’t the force he once was. After those four players, the line-up resembles a rebuilding team, with players like Nick Punto, Mike Aviles, and their previously mentioned starting outfielders.
The Ellsbury injury doesn’t completely ruin the Red Sox season, but the nail and the coffin have been purchased.