At this time last year, the injury-plagued Red Sox were slowly falling out of playoff contention, allowing for some young prospects to get Sox' fans excited for an old mantra: There's always next year.
Well, next year is here, and the Red Sox are as every bit dominant as many had hoped last season. However, as the fortunes changed for the Sox, they also changed for one of those exciting prospects, Ryan Kalish.
During the last two months of the season in 2010, Kalish was called up to the majors and his impact was felt. In a small 53-game window, Kalish batted an acceptable .252 while showcasing some nice speed with 10 thefts in 11 attempts.
However, after the bolstering of the outfield with the addition of Carl Crawford and the return of Jacoby Ellsbury, Kalish started the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he injured his shoulder April 21 while diving for a catch.
After nearly five months on the shelf, Kalish returned to the PawSox lineup Monday and delivered a double in his only plate appearance in a rain-shortened game.
If Kalish is able to regain his health in the coming weeks, he could help provide flexibility and speed coming off the bench for the Sox for the pennant race.
However, even if he is able to come back healthy, the issue turns to if there's room for him to contribute.
With the emergence of Josh Reddick, the outfield appears to have plenty of bodies to go around with Ellsbury, Crawford, Reddick, Darnell McDonald and J.D. Drew.