If you put together a list of players from the Red Sox opening day lineup who haven’t made at least one trip to the DL this season, it would read like this: David Ortiz, JD Drew, Adrian Beltre, Marco Scutaro. Dustin Pedroia has had two trips to the disabled list this season. Jacoby Ellsbury has made an incredible three, with his nine-day stretch from August 4th to the 13th the longest single period off the DL he’s had this season. That’s it. Nine days. Pedroia, Mike Cameron, and Kevin Youkilis have each been shut down for the season, and Ellsbury seems highly unlikely to play again in this campaign. Clay Buchholz, Victor Martinez, and Mike Lowell have all taken DL stints this season, and Josh Beckett hit the 60-day DL in late May and didn’t make it back to Boston until July 23rd.
Red Sox fans don’t need me to tell them that that’s a heck of a lot of adversity to have to overcome. However, despite all that, the Sox would be second only to the Twins if they were in the AL’s Central division, and their record would put them a game ahead of the division-leading Rangers in the West. The fact that the Sox have been able to manage this, despite playing in the toughest division in baseball and lining up 18 times each against the two toughest clubs in baseball in the Rays and Yankees.
So Red Sox fans, wait til next year, but expect your team to resume its status as a perennial contender if they can stay anything close to healthy. Check back tomorrow, when I might be writing about the Cardinals, but I really might not. It’s kind of borderline. PECOTA still gives the Cards a 4.45% playoff shot, which isn’t great, but isn’t nothing. I’m not gonna call this one quite yet, but without their comeback win yesterday over the division-leading Reds, they might be tomorrow’s blog. We’ll write their entry, as well as those for the rest of the teams clinging to slim playoff hopes (Rockies, I’m looking at you.), as their deficit goes from tough to overcome to insurmountable.