Red Sox: Brock Holt shut down indefinitely with vertigo

The Boston Red Sox super utility man has been shut down until further notice after visiting a specialist.

Brock Holt has been out of the Red Sox lineup since April 22 due to vertigo symptoms. He’s spent more than a month on the disabled list battling the condition, making 14 appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket despite recurring symptoms.

The plan was to have Holt work through the condition in game situations, as a way of potentially acclimating to the feeling. Instead, the condition proved relentless as he hasn’t been able to adjust or regain any measure of his previous form, hitting just .217 at Triple-A. The consistency of his condition led the Red Sox to consult Michael Collins, a sports concussions expert at the University of Pittsburgh.

Collins advised that Holt be kept out of the lineup for the “foreseeable future” in the words of manager John Farrell.

While the Red Sox continue to maintain that Holt’s condition is in fact vertigo, the relentlessness of his symptoms are eerily reminiscent of a serious concussion. He suffered the second of his career last May, which also kept him out of the lineup for more than a month. In this case, there hasn’t been an incident that could be clearly identified as the cause for a concussion, though that doesn’t rule out post-concussion symptoms or lingering brain trauma.

Either way, the Red Sox are right to exercise as much caution as possible with any injury that relates to a player’s head.

It’s also too early to determine whether this could mark the end of Holt’s season, premature as it may be. According to Farrell, he’ll remain with the club and keep up his on-field workouts, but will be held out of any competitive environments. Until the symptoms have subsided for a significant period of time, there won’t be a timeframe for his return.

 

While Holt has been on the disabled list, Josh Rutledge and Marco Hernandez split utility duties, until Hernandez suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. With Holt out indefinitely and Hernandez done for the year, the Red Sox have been left without a left-handed bat off the bench.