The second half is about to begin, but the Red Sox are still without a handful of stars.
Dustin Pedroia and Victor Martinez went down with broken bones on the same weekend back in June, while Jacoby Ellsbury has played just nine games all season with his multiple rib injuries. It may be a couple of weeks before they get back on the field, but which of those players will make his impact felt most immediately?
Pedroia was putting up MVP numbers before he suffered his freak injury on a foul ball off his foot. His average sits at .292 with 12 homers and 41 RBIs. He was on pace to his 25 home runs when he got hurt, which would be eight more than his MVP season of 2008. He had just won a game in Colorado almost by himself, as he went 5-for-5 with three homers, a double and a walk in a 13-11 victory.
Then, he was gone, and he remains that way with a broken bone in his foot. Will he be able to immediately rediscover his groove, or will it take a while for him to figure out how to adjust?
Then there is Martinez. In a full-time catching role this year with the Red Sox, he went through several stretches in which he was simply locked in. He was hitting .289 with a .344 on-base percentage to complement his nine dingers and 38 RBIs. He could bat third or fifth in Terry Francona‘s lineup, and he — like Pedroia — was named to the AL All-Star team. He was banged up before he had to go on the DL, so the rest may be working wonders for him. Will that translate to a quick return to form?
The wild card in the conversation is Ellsbury. The Red Sox’ offense was built with the thought of Ellsbury leading off, getting on base and running all over the place. Obviously, that has not happened. He’s certainly had plenty of time to rest, and he’s drawn quite a bit of heat for it, but are you expecting Ellsbury to come back in midseason form?