Bobby Valentine might not have a lot to say about his desire right now, but it appears that Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis' back is not getting better. Furthermore, a stint on the disabled list could be in his future.
UPDATE: Tuesday, May 22 at 3:51 p.m. ET by Nicholas Goss
According to NESN Red Sox reporter Jenny Dell, Kevin Youkilis has been activated from the disabled list. He will play at first base tonight against the Baltimore Orioles, and Will Middlebrooks will play at third.
Podsednik and Youkilis activated; Gonzalez in RF, Youkilis at 1B and Middlebrooks at 3B #RedSox— Jenny Dell (@JennyDellNESN) May 22, 2012
It's good for the Red Sox that Youkilis is able to return to the lineup, because the team needs his offensive ability.
UPDATE: Friday, May 18 at 1:15 p.m. ET by Eric Ball
I’m not sure if this is good news for the Red Sox or not, but it looks like Youkilis is going to be back with the club after this weekend, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
Youkilis will play third base for Pawtucket through Monday, then rejoin #RedSox and be re-evaluated in Baltimore on Tuesday.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 18, 2012
In Youkilis’ absence, Will Middlebrooks has stepped in and provided a jolt of energy, slugging four home runs and 14 RBI in only 58 at-bats. But now, he is mired in a 2-for-16 slump and Sox fans are getting inpatient again.
The time is right to give Youk his spot back and see if his Triple-A stint was just what the doctor ordered.
UPDATE: Monday, May 7 at 9:15 a.m. ET
Given the way Will Middlebrooks has been swinging the bat this year between Triple-A and MLB, Youkilis can have a little extra time to recover.
After Sunday's marathon loss to the Orioles, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that Youkilis is going to begin a walking program to help his back strain and will not travel with the team to Kansas City this week.
Youkilis was placed on the disabled list last Wednesday, retroactive to April 29. He is eligible to come back on May 14, but the team should play it safe with him to make sure everything is as it should be before doing anything drastic.
UPDATE: Wednesday, May 2 at 4:40 p.m. ET
Youkilis will be placed on the disabled list, according to Sean McAdam of Comcast Sportsnet New England.
Youkilis to DL, retro to Sunday #RedSoxTalk— Sean McAdam(@Sean_McAdam) May 2, 2012
That news is not surprising, since the prognosis on Youkilis' back has not been encouraging and the team has reportedly already brought star third base prospect Will Middlebrooks to Boston.
Plus, there is no sense in trying to rush Youkilis back with an injury like this. Best to let it fully heal and hope he is able to return in two weeks rather than put him out there and risk doing further damage.
According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Globe, Youkilis' back was hurting on Tuesday night, and it is looking increasingly likely that he will be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
On the bright side, Lauber also points out that this could open the door for top prospect Will Middlebrooks to make his Boston debut. The 23-year-old happens to play third base and was hitting .333/.380/.677 with nine home runs and 27 RBI in 93 at-bats with Triple-A Pawtucket.
In fact, Maureen Mullen of Comcast Sportsnet New England reports that Middlebrooks is en route to Boston, but that the team has yet to make an official roster move.
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks is on his way to Boston, according to a source. Middlebrooks is traveling from Toledo where Triple-A Pawtucket Is [sic] playing.
Middlebrooks could be activated or kept in the wings, depending on the Red Sox’ need. Third baseman Kevin Youkilis has missed the last three games with an ailing back.
It would seem to make sense for Youkilis to go on the disabled list. He has battled back injuries in the past, including last season, and the team needs to get a true third baseman who can replace the production they were expecting from him.
We will have all the latest news and information on Youkilis' back injury, so check back to this page as it becomes available.