Alex Cora blindsides Red Sox fans with unexpected injury to key player

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox have moved rookie outfielder Wilyer Abreu to the injured list after a freak injury.

On the June 4 episode of WEEI's "Jones and Mego" Show, Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Abreu will be placed on the injured list with an ankle sprain. The young outfielder will see a specialist in the coming days to determine the extent of the injury.

Abreu's ankle sprain didn't occur on the field. He slipped down the dugout steps during Boston's June 2 game against the Tigers. Abreu immediately winced in pain, but the Red Sox were hopeful that a few day's rest would set him right.

The Red Sox are already short two outfielders — Tyler O'Neill and Masataka Yoshida are out of commission for Boston, which leaves its usually packed outfield with Jarren Duran, Ceddanne Rafaela and Rob Refsnyder. The remaining three are playing well on both sides of the ball, but the Red Sox's depth has been severely tested this season.

Red Sox place Wilyer Abreu on IL, Tyler O'Neill to begin rehab assignment on June 4

Abreu has made countless stellar defensive plays in right field and his defense will be sorely missed during his stay on the IL. His bat has also been key to Boston's offense, as he's slashing .272/.344/.485 with a .829 OPS, six homers, 14 doubles and two triples.

The Red Sox's outfield may not be strapped for long, though. O'Neill will start his rehab assignment with Worcester on June 4 and Cora hopes he can be back with the Sox the following day. Yoshida has also been swinging a bat and participating in more baseball activities, slowly working his way back to the lineup.

It is not yet certain how long Abreu will spend on the IL, but the Red Sox's lineup is as decimated as it was in mid-April when Boston lost three starters and Triston Casas to injuries around the same time. The 2024 injury bug has been relentless to a Red Sox team that wasn't built with enough depth to thrive.

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