Early season injuries hampering Red Sox; Middlebrooks scheduled for MRI


David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox have been just once through their pitching rotation, but already injuries are becoming a factor. David Ortiz, Will Middlebrooks and Mike Carp are hampered by injuries and were out of last night’s starting lineup against the Milwaukee Brewers.

According to Red Sox Manager John Farrell, Ortiz has been nursing a calf injury since late in spring training. He described Ortiz’s absence from the lineup as a scheduled night off. Ortiz entered the game as a pinch hitter and grounded out.

Mike Napoli was the designated hitter in place of Ortiz. Daniel Nava started at first base for Napoli.

Middlebrooks apparently injured his calf during sprints in yesterday’s pregame warm-ups. He was scratched from the lineup and is scheduled for an MRI today. There are rumors swirling that the injury may require placing Middlebrooks on the disabled list. If so, Brock Holt is the likely roster replacement. The Red Sox’ top third base prospect, Garin Cecchini, is playing this season at AAA Pawtucket and was recently added to the team’s 40-man roster, but Holt has major league experience.

Carp’s injury was described as back stiffness. While he didn’t start the game at first base as originally planned, he was a late innings defensive replacement there for Nava who moved to right field.

Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino is already on the disabled list due to a hamstring injury and center fielder Grady Sizemore, who missed the last two seasons entirely due to injury, is not considered an everyday player yet as the team does not want to risk further injury or setback from excessive playing time.

There is little down time available for the players to rest. After an off day in Baltimore earlier this week, the Red Sox have only two more breaks in their schedule this month: Monday April 14 and Monday April 28.