The Red Sox will have to make do without pitcher Tim Wakefield for at least three weeks, after extensive tests revealed he has a stress fracture in his rib cage, a source with direct knowledge of the injury confirmed.
General manager Theo Epstein would not comment when asked about Wakefield's condition, but the knuckleballer, who turns 40 Aug. 2, is expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Tuesday, the day after he pitched just four innings, leaving after complaining of pain in the area. The source didn't know what caused the injury but said the condition has existed for some time.
Wakefield, who was not available for comment yesterday, said earlier that his back began bothering him June 3 against the Tigers. As recently as July 1, Wakefield threw 112 pitches in Florida. Scheduled to start last Thursday in the team's first game after the All-Star break, Wakefield was pushed back to Monday in hopes that rest would be beneficial. An MRI of his spine taken in Chicago July 7 was negative, but additional tests, including a bone scan and CAT scan, were performed this week when the pain persisted.
The loss of Wakefield comes at a time when the Sox are already without starting pitchers David Wells (knee), Matt Clement (biceps), and Lenny DiNardo (neck). Wakefield has a record of 7-8 with a 4.14 ERA in 19 starts, and the club is 11-8 in games in which he has pitched. His 119 2/3 innings rank third on the staff, behind Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett.
The Sox had put off placing Wakefield on the DL for a couple of reasons: They were awaiting a definitive analysis of the tests, and they also wanted Epstein to have more time to explore trades without clubs gaining leverage upon learning of Wakefield's injury.
Barring a trade, the Sox plan to promote lefthander Kason Gabbard from Triple A Pawtucket. Gabbard, a 29th-round draft pick out of Indian River Community College in Florida in 2000, was something of a sleeper in the Sox' system, going 9-2 at Double A Portland before his promotion to Pawtucket last month. The lefthander is expected to start Saturday in Seattle.
``Nobody has said a word to me," said a smiling Gabbard yesterday in Pawtucket, R.I. ``It's not something I can really think about until someone actually says it. Anybody in my position would love to get up to the big leagues and pitch. I've dreamed about that forever. It would be an honor, but you don't want to get your hopes up and then not see it happen."
Krunk City King$ wrote:Wakefield to be placed on DL
he is not on it as of yet.....
Right. Did I say "Wakefield on the DL." I'm pretty sure I didn't.
well, he has not even gone to the DL as of yet....
Ok...what's the difference between going to the DL and to the DL? He's going to be placed on the DL. Whether I take out going or not doesn't change that he's being placed on the DL. Why are you doing this anyways?
Red Sox place Wakefield on 15-day DL
Tim Wakefield - S - BOS - Jul. 20 - 1:46 pm et
Red Sox placed RHP Tim Wakefield on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 18, with a strained rib cage.
That strain is actually a stress fracture, manager Terry Francona confirmed, and Wakefield is expected to miss three to four weeks. The Red Sox didn't immediately replace him on the roster. They've also yet to name a starter for Saturday's game, though Kason Gabbard in the likely choice. Jul. 20 - 1:46 pm et
RotoWire.com Staff - RotoWire.com Wednesday, August 2, 2006
Update: Wakefield is limited to swimming in his rehab from a displaced rib fracture, the Providence Journal reports.
Recommendation: "They're not letting him throw yet," said manager Terry Francona. "He still feels it, but he's getting a lot better." Wakefield is not expected to accompany the team on its road trip through Tampa and Kansas City, but could join them if the rib feels better.