After colliding while pursuing a foul pop-up in the top of the fifth inning, Red Sox catcher David Ross and third baseman Will Middlebrooks both exited Wednesday's game against the Minnesota Twins. Ross exited soon after the collision, while Middlebrooks stayed in the game for a couple of innings before Pedro Ciriaco replaced him at third base in the seventh inning.
The team is calling Ross' injury a "left quad contusion", and he will likely be day-to-day. Middlebrooks left with "right side pain", and tests will be completed to assess the severity of the injury.
While neither injury appears to be serious, the recent series of injuries to hit the first-place Sox has brought back memories of the bleak days of 2012. One day after closer Andrew Bailey was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right bicep tendinitis, his replacement, Joel Hanrahan, joined him with a right forearm strain on Wednesday.
If Ross is placed on the disabled list, Ryan Lavarnway will be called up from AAA Pawtucket and assume the backup catcher role. If Middlebrooks misses time, the Red Sox will be faced with a tough situation filling the position with the greatest lack of depth on the roster. Ciriaco, who made two errors in a row after replacing Middlebrooks, is widely regarded as a defensive liability at third base, and no other third base options appear on the current 25-man roster.
The most likely scenario to replace Middlebrooks would be calling up Brock Holt, who was acquired along with Hanrahan in an offseason trade. Another option would be Brandon Snyder, who has been impressive with the PawSox so far this season but does not have much experience playing third base at the major league level. Snyder is not on the 40-man roster, so the Sox would have to clear a roster spot (likely by placing either Franklin Morales or Alex Hassan on the 60-day DL) to add him.
Reports immediately after the injury speculated that Jose Iglesias could be recalled in Middlebrooks' place with Stephen Drew shifting to third, but Iglesias' nebulus situation with the PawSox has put that in doubt. Although he is completely healthy, Iglesias has been held out of the Pawtucket lineup for three straight games and is "dealing with some things", according to Red Sox manager John Farrell. While Iglesias' issues are unknown, speculation points to the young shortstop being the victim of disciplinary action for an unknown offense.
While the speculation of replacements makes for good conversation, the injuries to Ross and Middlebrooks are not yet known to be serious enough to warrant roster moves. The Red Sox will make determinations within the next 24 hours regarding potential disabled list stints for the two injured players.
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