The Boston Red Sox outfield suffered a significant blow over the weekend when it was revealed that Ryan Kalish would need surgery on his non-throwing shoulder.
The injury was discovered when Kalish felt pain in his right shoulder after swinging a bat during off-season workouts. Red Sox team doctors say that the extent of the damage is not yet known. The upcoming surgery will be the 24-year-old’s third in just 16 months.
The loss weakens an already unstable Red Sox outfield, as Kalish was expected to serve as the primary backup in both left and right field. The Red Sox figure to start the season with Jacoby Ellsbury in center, and Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino filling the corner outfield spots. Ellsbury has missed 236 games over the last three seasons, Gomes was not a regular starter last year, and Victorino is coming off his worst season in the majors. Needless to say, losing Kalish could spell big trouble for Boston.
In a related move, the Red Sox have signed free agent Ryan Sweeney to a minor league contract. Sweeney was with the Sox in 2012, but his season ended abruptly in July when he broke his hand after punching a door in the clubhouse. If he makes the team out of spring training, Sweeney will earn a salary of $1.25 million.
Kalish is expected to miss all of the preseason and a large portion of the first half of the upcoming campaign. Daniel Nava, who hit .243 in 2012 with very little speed or power, will move up on the depth chart to fill the vacancy.