The Boston Red Sox just can't catch a break.
On Sunday, the team placed first baseman Mike Napoli on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained finger, just one day after outfielder Shane Victorino went on the DL himself with a right hamstring strain.
For a team that has dropped to the AL East cellar in the midst of a 10-game losing streak, injuries to two key offensive contributors adds insult to injury, especially considering the Sox were already missing third baseman Will Middlebrooks.
The team recalled Daniel Nava and right-hander Brandon Workman to fill in the two vacant roster spots, which means we could see Mike Carp and Nava split time at first base in Napoli's absence.
Boston optioned Nava down to Triple-A Pawtucket on April 23, and he didn't exactly tear it up there after the demotion. He hit just .253/.347/.398 in 98 plate appearances, which wasn't impressive but nevertheless showed that he could be on the right track in terms of returning to his 2013 level of performance. Even so, manager John Farrell said he expects Carp to receive the bulk of the time at first base, according to The Boston Globe's Pete Abraham.
Meanwhile, Workman figures to slot into the bottom of the rotation, which could go one of two ways for the Sox. On one hand, Workman has been sharp in the majors this season, allowing a run on four hits in 6.1 innings, and he's an experienced starter in the minors. Conversely, Workman has struggled immensely in a starting role at Triple-A (5.12 ERA in seven starts) and he has all of three big league starts under his belt.
Looking ahead, the time off should give Napoli the rest he needs to come back strong. He has been dealing with a sore left hamstring and right calf, so the opportunity to rest everything—including his sprained finger—could make a significant difference.
Unlike Napoli, Victorino has already missed significant time this season, sitting out the team's first 22 games of the season while dealing with his same ailing hamstring. Luckily, the injury doesn't appear to be as concerning, according to Farrell (via ESPN's Gordon Edes):
"We still think it's not as severe,'' Farrell said Saturday, "but with the other situations that we're also managing, his was the most clear-cut for need of some downtime, so he's on the DL."