The Red Sox have been ravaged by injuries, with 20 players visiting the DL at some point this season.
Carl Crawford, John Lackey, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia, Josh Beckett, Andrew Bailey, Kevin Youkilis and Ryan Sweeney all figured to play big roles in this team but have spent part, or all, of 2012 on the DL.
You would think that this would have hurt the Sox, and is surely one of the reasons they are .500 and tied for last in the AL East.
Boston hasn't missed their injured players. Dustin Pedroia went down before the Yankees series but the Sox didn't skip a beat at second base.
Pedro Ciriaco was the driving force behind Boston's sole win on Saturday night, going 4-for-5 with four RBI, two doubles and a stolen base. He picked up where he left off on Sunday, going 3-for-4 with another steal and two runs scored.
And that's been indicative of the whole season. Youk goes down and Will Middlebrooks emerges as a good young player at 3B.
Crawford and Ellsbury have played a total of seven games between them. Daniel Nava and Cody Ross have picked up the slack.
Nava was batting above .300 before a recent cold spell; Ross is third on the team in home runs. Andrew Bailey undergoes surgery in spring training, Alfredo Aceves steps up as a very effective closer.
Even when their injured stars return, they would have to play at an MVP-type level to be able to improve on those who have replaced them.