Ryan Kalish started 44 of the Red Sox’s final 58 games last season and fared decently for a 22-year-old rookie, but instead of trying to stick in the big leagues this year his season has been ruined by injuries.
Kalish tore the labrum in his right shoulder while making a diving catch at Triple-A in April, missing all but 22 games for Pawtucket, and now he’s slated for surgery to fix a problem that general manager Theo Epstein described as “involving one of his vertebrae behind his neck.”
Epstein told Ian Browne of MLB.com that Kalish will likely have “no limitations going forward” and “it’s not something that should get in the way of next year.”
Kalish is still young enough to bounce back from the year of missed development time, but the lost season is a tough break for a player who likely would have seen plenty of action for the Red Sox.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.