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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Red Sox's Key To Success- Being Healthy?

This sounds simple enough.  A healthy team equals a better overall team.  Middlebrooks and Victorino have spent the majority of this young season on the disabled list.  Once they returned to the line-up, the Red Sox seemed to play with more grit, with better defense, and with more heart.  This would seem to equate that the Red Sox needed Middlebrooks and Victorino in the line-up to play better baseball.

When the Red Sox called up Victorino on Thursday, it would seem that the Red Sox would get the much needed spark that they seemed to be lacking this season.  Victorino provides the team with energy, on the base paths and in the outfield.  Despite going 1-for-5 in his return, the Red Sox lost to the Yankees in a 14-5 massacre that saw Mike Carp, the pitcher.

Photo from NESN
However, Middlebrooks returned to the line-up for Friday's 8-1 win against the Blue Jays.  Middlebrooks went 2-for-4 with a double and 2 RBIs.  Victorino went 1-for-6 with a double.  To make room for Middlebrooks, Daniel Nava was demoted to Triple-A.  The Red Sox would go on take 2 of the 3 games against the Blue Jays, which would indicate that having Middlebrooks and Victorino in the line-up is more beneficial to the Red Sox.

As mentioned before, the Red Sox demoted Daniel Nava to Triple-A.  Nava has struggled this season, hitting .149 with 2 home runs, 3 RBIs, and 1 stolen base.  Yes, it doesn't look good for Nava, and maybe he does need to go back to Triple-A for a bit.  But, if there's one thing we know about Daniel Nava is that he's a fighter.  By now, all of Red Sox Nation knows Daniel Nava's story of being his college team's manager, hitting a grand slam in his first at bat in the majors, and becoming a key member of the 2014 Red Sox World Series Championship team.

Photo from ESPN.Go.Boston

In 2013, in 134 games, Nava hit .303 with 12 home runs and 66 RBIs.  He was a big reason the Red Sox played as well as they did last season.  I understand that the fact that Nava had options that played a major role into sending him down to Triple-A, but let's say he didn't.  Would the Red Sox have released him to make room for Victorino?

The Red Sox seemed to think pretty highly of Grady Sizemore, a player who hasn't played in the major's since 2011; that season, he hit .224 in 71 games.  In 2010, he hit .211 in 33 games.  In 2009, he played 106 games and hit .248.  He hit .268 and played 157 games in 2008.  Sizemore is currently hitting .221 in 19 games with 2 homes runs, 1 triple, 7 RBIs, and 2 stolen bases.  Yes, small sample size, I know.

Photo from SportsIllustrated.cnn.com

I guess what I'm trying to point out is the Red Sox were considered to have gotten "healthier" with the addition of Victorino and Middlebrooks and sending Nava down to Triple-A.  These moves may be important and necessary at this time, but they also have a player on their team who hasn't been considered "healthy" since 2008.  The Red Sox took a chance on Sizemore; and hopefully, that chance pans out for them.  With about a month into the season, I'm still uncertain about this move the Red Sox made.

Only time will tell...