In today’s headlines, we saw the Red Sox make a flurry of changes between Boston, Pawtucket, and the disabled list. Will Middlebrooks (back spasms) and Shane Victorino (sore hamstring) will head to the 15-day disabled list while David Ross comes off the disabled list. He had been on there ever since he and Middlebrooks had that concussion two weeks ago. Ross’s call-up means that the Red Sox optioned Ryan Lavarnway to Triple-A and called up Alfredo Aceves and Jose Iglesias from Triple-A.
Without Victorino and Middlebrooks, the Red Sox will have to re-arrange their lineup in some potentially interesting ways. Much like they did during Victorino’s previous stint on the DL, Mike Carp (.277/.333/.596, 2 home runs, 8 RBIs) and Jonny Gomes (.186/.339/.302, 2 home runs, 9 RBIs) will see quite a bit more playing time, and likely platoon. The interesting part of the new-look lineup is the third base job, as the Red Sox don’t have much depth behind Middlebrooks. They will turn to Jose Iglesias at the position, keeping Stephen Drew at shortstop despite Iglesias’s superior range. Iglesias has played all of one game at third in his professional career but, as an excellent shortstop, should be able to handle it.
The addition of Alfredo Aceves to the bullpen will give the Red Sox another long-man. Clayton Mortensen was roughed up last night (5 earned runs in 2 innings) and has generally not been good this year with a 5.25 ERA and 14 walks in 14 innings pitched. For what it’s worth, Aceves pitched well in Triple-A through 4 starts with a 3.13 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 23 innings. If Felix Doubront continues to struggle, then Aceves will put some pressure on the young lefty if nothing else.
The Red Sox season has been riddled with injuries so far in 2013, but that hasn’t stopped them from looking very good this year with a 28-20 record and standing just a game back in the AL East. However, they have struggled of late. Hopefully Iglesias will provide a spark like he did in his first stint in the majors (9 for 20 in 6 games). If all goes well, the Red Sox should be able to weather the storm and continue their comeback season even without two key cogs in their lineup.