Adrian Beltre is limping around the bases, Victor Martinez is gutting his way through God knows how many nicks and bruises and Marco Scutaro has played in all but four games this season. Even for those Red Sox fortunate enough to avoid long-term injuries, it's been a long year.
Fortunately, help — in the form of young, eager bodies — is on the way.
With rosters expanding on Wednesday to allow teams to carry 40 players on their active rosters, perhaps no team stands to benefit more than the Red Sox. In some ways, it won't be much of a change, with Darnell McDonald, Daniel Nava, Ryan Kalish, Yamaico Navarro, Felix Doubront, Josh Reddick, Michael Bowden, Dusty Brown and Dustin Richardson already spending time with the big club this season, with many any of them logging significant playing time.
Yet while playoff hopes are low (but still alive), September will give fans a glimpse into the future, at the very least.
They've already gotten that, of course, from Kalish, Navarro and Co., but they'll get plenty more in the final 30 games of the season.
Fans may finally get to see the much-heralded Lars Anderson make his debut in the bigs, after four full seasons in the minors. After a disappointing 2009 season with Double-A Portland, Anderson took some steps forward this year, bumping up his average 40 points in 124 games for Triple-A Pawtucket and Portland. He's also bumped his homer total from nine to 14 and his RBIs from 51 to 65 in roughly the same number of games. His slugging percentage jumped from .345 to .454 as well.
The rest of the list isn't quite so much exciting as it might be useful. Rich Hill, who has nearly 400 innings of big league experience, can help an exhausted bullpen. Veteran Carlos Delgado could return to the field this week, and when he joins the big league club in September, he'll provide Terry Francona with a power option off the bench.
The team could also see PawSox Most Valuable Pitcher Robert Manuel and team MVP Bubba Bell get their feet wet in the bigs (Manuel does have 11 1/3 innings of experience, but it will be interesting to see how his 8-2 record and 1.68 ERA in Triple-A this season translates at the highest level).
If Theo Epstein wants to dig even deeper into the organization and get some young guys experience, he has catcher Luis Exposito, infielder Jose Iglesias and first baseman Anthony Rizzo in Portland.
Who are you excited to see play in the majors? Share your thoughts below.
Monday, Aug. 30: Should Red Sox re-sign Adrian Beltre and Victor Martinez?
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