BOSTON — Outfielder Ryan Kalish's injury-plagued season will come to an end with neck surgery, Red Sox manager Terry Francona confirmed Wednesday.
Kalish was on the disabled list at Pawtucket with a right trapezius strain. He has been bothered by shoulder and neck issues since getting injured diving for a ball back in April and was limited to just 24 games (22 for the PawSox and two at Lowell), batting .228 (21-for-92) with no home runs this season.
Kalish played the final two months with the Red Sox last year and was very impressive, which makes the timing of what amounts to a wasted season difficult for a player who was on the verge of big things in the organization.
"I think what everybody feels bad about is the kid lost a year, basically," Francona said. "A really big year of development. He'll come back and be fine but it basically cost him a year and now it will cut into his winter."
Francona said that Kalish will be ready once spring training rolls around. As for where Kalish fits on the depth chart at that time remains to be seen. If he is anything like the player who hit .252 with 16 extra-base hits and 10 stolen bases in 53 games for Boston in 2011, he will have a shot at what could be an up-in-the-air right field.
The man charged with making that call feels confident that Kalish, 23, will have every opportunity to hit the ground running in February.
"He's a tough enough kid. He'll do whatever it takes and there's a ton of confidence in his ability to come back. It just cost him a year of development," Francona said. "I think he's actually OK [with the news that he has to have surgery]. I think now that it's finally said and done, he's ready to attack it, just like he does everything. He's out in California. He's ready to do this. He'll get after it."
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