Back in mid April Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was quoted from a radio show saying about Kevin Youkilis, “I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason,” And with that , things haven’t been the same with the Boston Red Sox. As you may know,Valentine quickly apologized, Dustin Pedroia came to his defense, but the damage was done.
Youkilis landed on the disabled list and is due back any day. Yet the talk is not about getting their All-Star third baseman back in the lineup. It’s more about how they will put him back in the lineup or worse if they will. Suddenly, Kevin Youkilis is expendable and likely will be traded.
Youkilis is 33 years old. If you didn’t know that before, you would now. It is the topic of almost every Youkilis article you find . By the way, Will Middlebrooks is 23. Middlebrooks is the heir apparent to the third base job for the Red Sox. And apparently some may want that to be sooner than later.
According to Jerry Crasnick, the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies are snooping around and closely watching the rehabilitation of Youkilis. The Arizona Diamondbacks may be interested as well.
With the injury to Cody Ross, bringing Youkilis off the disabled list on Tuesday is easier. Still the Red Sox will have more position players then they will have positions for them.
According to Gordon Edes Valentine could move first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to right field in spots, which would allow Middlebrooks an opportunity to play third with Youkilis at first. Or they could send Middlebrooks back to AAA and get him some time as an outfielder before returning to the major leagues. Obviously, the Red Sox are considering many options at this point.
One of those options should not be trading Youkilis. He is dedicated to the mission that is Red Sox nation. He plays the game hard and plays it the right way. For some reason, things aren’t meshing the way they should with the new management. Red Sox General manager Ben Cherington has been quoted as saying that Youkilis will get his job back as soon as he returns from the disabled list.
Of course, you can also assume that Cherrington is all in when it comes to Valentine. And therein lies the rub. There are still many questions to be answered. For the record, I am neither a fan of the Red Sox, nor Youkilis, but frankly if he was on my favorite team, I would probably love him.