A rash of injuries has forced the Red Sox to resort to a lineup that sometimes includes a surprising name or two for fans who aren't fluent in the Red Sox farm system.
Jacoby Ellsbury is on the 15-day DL after dislocating his shoulder during the team's home opener. His ideal replacement, Carl Crawford, continues to recover from offseason wrist surgery and, despite showing good progress, is still a while away from coming back to the squad.
On the pitching front, the Red Sox haven't had much better luck as far as injuries are concerned. Closer-to-be Andrew Bailey is out for a couple of months with a thumb injury suffered during spring training and Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey are out rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
While a comeback from Lackey would be a surprise this season, Matsuzaka and Bailey are both expected to work their way back and contribute to the team in 2012. The same goes for Crawford and for Ellsbury, who has already declared that he will "definitely" be back.
While the rest of the team will be doing its best to pick up the slack, the Red Sox are unquestionably a better team when everyone who should be in the lineup is 100 percent healthy. When looking at the notable names that aren't at the moment, who among them will matter the most when they get the green light to return?
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