The All-Star Break couldn’t come at a better time for the Boston Red Sox.
Yesterday, Jon Lester strained his left Lat muscle in the midst of tossing a no-hitter.
Lestah is a Lefty, so that part of his back is crucial to throwing. If Lester has to hit the DL, the Red Sox rotation will be in dire straits. Clay Buchholtz is still on the DL, Dice-K is already gone for Tommy John surgery, and John Lackey has been awful. The Star studded rotation that Theo Epstein locked up for the next several years is running thin.
Alfredo Aceves will start in place of Lester against Baltimore on Sunday. After Sunday’s game, the Sox have 4 days off because of the All-Star Game in Phoenix Arizona. Not a ton of time, but should offer a little more breathing room for Buchholtz and Lester to heal up.
Lester’s injury can heal in a couple weeks or a couple months depending on the severity.
And the Red Sox NEED Lester to be healthy.
Right now, the Sox rotation looks like: Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Andrew Miller, Tim Wakefield and Alfredo Aceves. The way Lackey has been pitching, this list looks shaky when you realize we have to compete with the Yankees who are 18-6 since the Red Sox swept them at Yankee Stadium one month ago. Still, the Sox are 1.5 games back of the Yanks, which is not bad considering all of the injuries the team has faced.
Lester is undergoing more extensive examinations today, but since they already announced he will miss his next start, a move to the DL appears imminent. If he goes to the DL, the Red Sox will probably bring up a reliever from the minors to replace his roster spot. Felix Doubront or Kevin Milwood could get the call.
Right now all Red Sox Nation can do is hope Lester’s injury is minor and that he can use the All-Star break to recuperate. Boston’s bats are fantastic, but down the stretch the Red Sox will need solid starting pitching in order to succeed.
Tim Wakefield takes the mound tonight. We need that Wicked Knucklah to be on point! If the Veteran Wakefield can pitch well consistently, it would be a huge boost to this wounded Red Sox team.