The man known as the “Greek God of Walks”, Kevin Youkilis was stable force in the Boston Red Sox lineup from 2006-2011. Many Red Sox were aggravated and questioned the team’s decision to trade the former three time All-Star last June 24 to the Chicago White Sox for a bag of balls in pitcher Zach Stewart and utility infielder Brent Lillibridge. Both never panned out for Boston.
Fast forward a year later, when looking back at this deal did the Red Sox know a long time before they dealt Youkilis, who was a pending free agent after the season, was a declining player? Youkilis play dating back to August 2011 is proof that he hasn’t been the player he once was when he was hitting over .300 and driving in close to 100 runs.
Since August 2011, Youkilis has hit only above .250 four times in a month by hitting .313 in May 2012, .266 in April .250 in last July and in May. Other than that, he has averaged just above .200 in the other months played. To make things worse since that decline, Youkilis has been replaced on the disabled list four times, once to end the 2011 season, and another in 2012 that forced him to miss 22 games with back injury.
His 2013 campaign hasn’t gone too well either as Youkilis has already been on the DL twice with two different back injuries. He will be out awhile after having back surgery recently and his one year deal for $ 12 million isn’t looking too good on the Yankees part. It remains to be seen how long Youkilis will be out for.
Red Sox fans were expecting another Youkilis return after the All-Star break when the Yankees come to Fenway Park for first time this season but will have to wait until at least August, maybe even September to see him play. Last July during his return to Fenway as a member of the White Sox, he hit .417 with a home run and three RBIs in 12 at bats.
Even though, Lillibridge never panned out for Red Sox, Boston still got back a valuable asset in relief pitcher Jose De La Torre, who has been a nice surprise for the Pawtucket Red Sox out of the bullpen and has even looked decent for Sox in some of his outings earlier in season. This makes the Youkilis trade look a little more attractive at the end of the day for Boston.
Despite his decline as a player, Red Sox fans will always remember the famous YOUK chants around Fenway Park and he will still go down as one of the better dirtdogs in Red Sox history.