It appears as if the injury bug has bitten the Boston Red Sox, once again. The Red Sox have placed third baseman Kevin Youkilis on the 15 day disabled list with a lower back strain, retroactive to April 29. In the meantime, they have recalled third baseman Will Middlebrooks and pitcher Clayton Mortensen from Triple-A Pawtucket. Youkilis has had some struggles this year, both on and off the field.
Youkilis, affectionately referred to as “The Greek God of Walks” for his patience at the plate, is hitting .219 through 18 games with 2 homeruns and 9 RBI. He had started to come on after a very disappointing opening stretch to the season.
In addition to his early season woes at the dish, Youk has had to contend with some less than encouraging comments from Sox manager Bobby Valentine. In the middle of April, Valentine said of Youkilis “I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason. But [on Saturday] it seemed, you know, he’s seeing the ball well, got those two walks, got his on-base percentage up higher than his batting average, which is always a good thing, and he’ll move on from there.”
Middlebooks is currently batting .333 with 9 homeruns and 27 RBI with Pawtucket thus far in 2012. He will get the start tonight at third in place of Youkilis.
Add this to the long list of injuries that the Red Sox have had to overcome in the young 2012 season, including their new closer and a handful of outfielders. If they can weather this storm, it will be interesting to see what they can do later in the year.