Following a post All Star break weekend series with the Rangers that saw them lose three of four, it’s clear the Sox are running on fumes. If it weren’t for Kevin Youkilis’ heroics on Saturday it would have been a four game sweep by the Rangers. Now the Sox are heading out west for their annual post All Star Game west coast road trip.
The good news: the walking wounded are starting to trickle back into the lineup.
The bad news: it may be too late.
It started with Manny Delcarmen coming back on Saturday. He pitched a scoreless inning of work in Portland on Thursday and that was enough for the Sox to bring him back. That may help the bullpen. I say may because it’s unclear which Delcarmen the Sox will be getting. The guy that gives up tons of runs or the guy that looks like a solid seventh inning guy behind Bard and Papelbon.
It was also announced that Clay Buchholz who pitched Friday night in Syracuse for the Paw-Sox would be back with the team on Wednesday night in Oakland. Again, it’s unclear if the Sox are getting back the All Star Clay Buchholz or the pitcher that imploded shortly after pitching a no-hitter. Personally I’m going with the All Star, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Also back this week will be Josh Beckett. Beckett who’s been out for two months with a strained back is scheduled to take the mound Friday night against the Mariners. The last place Mariners. Nothing like trying to boost his confidence by letting his first start back come against the cellar dwelling Seattle team.
The pitchers coming back is a great thing but without a solid catcher calling the games behind the plate, it’s almost useless. For all that it’s nice for Kevin Cash and Dusty Brown to get time in the majors (both were on minor league rosters this season) they don’t have the experience that Varitek and Martinez do.
Martinez recently played catch for the first time since injuring his thumb but there’s no definitive time for his return. Same goes for Jason Varitek and his broken foot. The latest on Varitek is that he’s behind in his recovery from said broken foot. At least two weeks behind Pedroia who’s about two weeks away from taking off his boot. So by my math that’s four weeks before Varitek is even thinking rehab start.
Pedroia, like I said, has about two more weeks in his walking boot. From there it’s probably a few days of rehab with Portland or Pawtuckett before he’s back, so about a two and a half weeks at best.
Then there’s Mike Lowell who returned to the team after spending a week and a half in Miami with his family. He was given a shot in his hip that was repaired in 2008 and should start his rehab this week with Lowell. Lowell in Lowell, awesome. He has been treated like an absolute dog by the Sox front office. They’ve buried him on the bench, invented an injury to put him on the DL and now they’re sending him to Lowell for a rehab. They won’t release him and won’t trade him. Instead he’s just wasting away on the bench. The Sox should be ashamed.
So a bunch of guys making their way back to the big club but it could be too late. As it stands this morning the team is 6.5 behind the Yankees and 3.5 behind the Rays for the Wild Card. The trading deadline is about two weeks out and you have to wonder if the team will be buyers at the deadline. I had said that V-Mart would be on his way out of town but with the injury I doubt that happens. I also doubt the Sox will be big players.
They’re fading in the standings as the deadline approaches. Theo will sell us on some line of bull that the team is built solid, but we know the truth. They know they’re out of it and don’t want a rent a player that will leave at the end of the season. But the team had their 600th consecutive sell out…hoo-fucking-ray.