Red Sox hit with another injury as key outfielder won’t travel to DR series

Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox / Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/GettyImages

The Boston Red Sox's list of injured players is long just a few weeks into spring training. With Lucas Giolito out, Kenley Jansen working his way back to full strength, and Jarren Duran rotating between nursing injuries and playing in spring games, the Sox don't have much room to lose more people.

But Boston was just hit with another bit of potentiall concerning news. Newly acquired outfielder Tyler O'Neill is nursing calf tightness and is slated to miss the Dominican Republic series this coming weekend, March 9-10.

Luckily for the Red Sox, O'Neill's injury is not considered serious and he should be able to return to baseball activities soon. The outfielder's injury history is not in his favor, but he is expected to be able to play when Boston returns to Fort Myers for regular Grapefruit League-action on Monday.

In 2022, O'Neill was sidelined for quite some time with a mixed bag of injuries, including a right shoulder impingement and strains in both of his hamstrings, which all called for individual stints on the IL. He only played 96 games that year, and he played even fewer last season. O'Neill dealt with some back issues that landed him on the 60-day IL.

Red Sox outfielder Tyler O'Neill will miss Dominican Republic Series

O'Neill's calf tightness comes at an unfortunate time after he put up quite a performance against the Rays on March 5. He blasted a home run, his first of spring training, and logged two hits, three runs scored, a walk, and an RBI that game.

His performance was reminiscent of a 2021 O'Neill showing, which the Red Sox hope to unlock for the rest of the season. O'Neill batted .286/.352/.560 with a .912 OPS and slugged 34 home runs that year.

If all goes according to plan and O'Neill returns to action March 11, hopefully, he can pick up where he left off with the Rays game. O'Neill in his 2021 form would be the best-case scenario for the Red Sox this season especially after all the talent they've lost over the past few seasons.

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