Though it’s certainly not the sole reason of the Red Sox’ offensive struggles this season, their lineup has been absolutely battered by injuries throughout the season. One key role player from 2013 in Mike Carp has been one of those affected by the injury bug. Carp has been out of the Red Sox lineup since late May when he suffered a metatarsal fracture in his right foot but expects to return to action as one of the more valuable bench bats on the team by the early portion of next week.
However, Carp will not be a savior by any means. While he impressed off the bench last season, slashing .296/.362/.523 with 9 home runs in 243 plate appearances, he is one of many who have regressed significantly in 2014. Through his first 82 plate appearances of the season, Carp is hitting a meager .214/.317/.286 with no home runs and has certainly not delivered after what looked to be a breakout 2013.
In fact, given Carp’s struggles so far this year, it’s hard to say that he deserves to be on the 25-man roster more than anybody else. There are no obvious candidates to be demoted but it’s possible that we could see one of Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., or Jonathan Herrera optioned. It’s also possible, though less likely, that the Red Sox could attempt to make a trade in that time and thus open a position on their 25-man roster. It will be interesting to see how the Red Sox play this, but ultimately Carp’s return could wind up as more trouble than it’s worth.