By trading Josh Reddick to the A’s yesterday the Red Sox seemingly cleared the way for Ryan Kalish to take over as their starting right fielder at some point in 2012, but whether he’s in the minors or majors Kalish will likely begin the season on the disabled list.
Kalish missed most of 2011 with injuries and had neck surgery in September, and now Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the 23-year-old outfielder also underwent left shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum on November 8.
Kalish indicated that no official timetable has been established for his return yet, but Abraham speculates that he won’t be ready for game action until at least May and would presumably have to put together a good stretch at Triple-A before a call-up to Boston was an option.
He initially injured the shoulder while attempting to make a diving catch at Triple-A in April and later experienced neck problems related to the shoulder issues.
Boston acquired Ryan Sweeney as part of yesterday’s Andrew Bailey-for-Josh Reddick swap and starting him in right field versus right-handed pitching while finding a platoon partner to knock around left-handed pitching makes sense regardless of Kalish’s status.
The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.
The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.
Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.