The required surgery is a major set back for Kalish and the Red Sox's plan for 2013 and beyond.
Despite his numerous injuries over the past two years, the team has paved the way for Kalish to become a major league starting outfielder.
Prior to last season, Boston traded Josh Reddick, and during the season they released Darnell McDonald. This offseason Ryan Sweeney wasn’t tendered a contract, and Jerry Sands was traded.
The 25-year-old prospect would have only Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes battling him for a starting outfield job. If he stayed healthy, 2013 was finally going to be Kalish’s chance to showcase his skills and live up to his potential.
Kalish registered a .243 batting average with a .644 OPS, four home runs, 29 RBI and 13 steals over 89 games in the 2010 and 2012 seasons combined as a major leaguer. It's a small sample, which includes an impressive 2010 season and a rough year in 2012. This year Red Sox fans were expecting to see how those numbers would be over a full season.
Edes also reports that Boston GM Ben Cherington quickly moved to add outfield depth by re-signing left-handed outfielder Sweeney to a minor league deal. Sweeney hit .260 with an OPS of .676 in 63 games last year, playing mostly in right field during his first season with the Red Sox.
Sweeney tweeted: "So excited to be back with Boston! Thanks to the Red Sox for the opportunity to play there again."
The 27-year-old Sweeney will likely compete with switch-hitting Daniel Nava for a platoon role. I’d give the nod to Sweeney, who hits right-handed pitching at a .277 clip. Gomes—with a .299 average against lefties—figures to get a lot more playing time with Kalish out, and he fits in a platoon role nicely with Sweeney.
All is not lost for Kalish’s 2013 season. He may still become their everyday left fielder, but it is unlikely to happen until well into the season.
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