Rafael Devers returns to Red Sox lineup, Alex Cora battles Masataka Yoshida questions

Cleveland Guardians v Boston Red Sox
Cleveland Guardians v Boston Red Sox / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages

After he was sidelined for six games, Rafael Devers is back in the Boston Red Sox's lineup for their April 24 game against the Cleveland Guardians.

The third baseman experienced multiple injuries and injury scares in a short period. Devers has been healing a shoulder injury since spring training, he collided with Tyler O'Neill in shallow left field in a scary moment, and he's most recently been recovering from a bone bruise in his knee.

Devers is usually quite reliable when it comes to playing time. He's played 153-plus games three times in his eight-year MLB career and it's unlike Devers to miss so many games.

The slugger will bat second after usual leadoff man Jarren Duran. Pablo Reyes has been getting the majority of the reps at third base in Devers' absence, and he'll continue there until Devers returns to the field.

Rafael Devers back in the Red Sox lineup, Masataka Yoshida to sit again

Tyler O'Neill will start in left field for the first time since he and Devers collided on Patriots' Day, April 15. He collected a hit in the designated hitter slot in his return game on April 23.

The Red Sox haven't started usual DH Masataka Yoshida since April 20 and fans and reporters have been curious about his physical health. Boston's manager has shown a tendency to ride hot bats this season and Yoshida got off to a slow start this season — a stark contrast to O'Neill's numbers. The skipper has been putting players who return from injury in the DH slot, likely to ease them back into playing time.

Yoshida could start in the outfield, as he did last season, but the Sox's other outfielders have been on a tear. Wilyer Abreu has at least one RBI in his last five games and he's been racking up hits at a high clip. Rob Refsnyder has been having similar success and he has seven hits in his five games with Boston.

Cora has attested that there are no issues with Yoshida and that he will be the DH in the Red Sox's afternoon tilt with the Guardians on April 25.

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