Boston Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks, an obvious WWE fan after his exploits in last season’s World Series, has been placed on the DL with a calf strain (because tripping runners can cause major pulls in one’s leg). In all seriousness, the Red Sox are off to a poor start in terms of depth. To remedy this, the Sox have signed veteran utility man Ryan Roberts to fill the role.
Roberts, now with his fifth major league team and fresh off of a release by the Chicago Cubs, will not remind anyone of Wade Boggs, but the Sox are hoping that he can provide the team with some competent play in a platoon arrangement with Johnathan Herrera. Roberts is not a star, and at 33 he is not likely to become one; but he is the rare bird who can play all four infield positions, making him valuable to a team in need of depth.
Going forward, however, this is not the same team as the one that won last season’s World Series with clutch hitting and deep pitching. The arms are another year older, and the hitters are still looking for their rhythm. The lineup while talented is beginning to split between past their prime vets (Mike Napoli, A.J. Pierzynski) and youngsters like Jackie Bradley Jr. looking to prove themselves.
This may render the Sox unable to even approach duplicating the success they enjoyed in 2013, particularly with the Tampa Bay Rays having several of their key pieces reaching their prime all at once. It may take the depleted and aging Red Sox more than a few wrestling moves, a few more trips and some luck to again reach the game’s largest stage.