Red Sox slugger’s recovery from injury could be longer than expected

Red Sox slugger's recovery from injury could be longer than expected

Adam Duvall’s hot start to the season was cruelly halted when he sustained a distal radius fracture in his left wrist. There was relief initially that he wouldn’t require surgery, but it still appears it’ll be a lengthy recovery time, with Duvall telling Alex Speier of the Boston Globe that he won’t be able to swing the bat for six weeks.

 

 

“[It’s] maybe six weeks before I can swing again. I’m going to keep running and keep throwing to stay in shape,” Duvall said.

Red Sox slugger's recovery from injury could be longer than expected

 

 

It’s still hard to pinpoint exactly when the 34-year-old might be ready to return to action, but certainly, six weeks plus time to build back up again would suggest a return well into the summer.

Duvall, a lifetime .233/.292/.472 hitter, went 15-for-33 over his first eight games of the season, slugging four home runs while manning center field for the Red Sox.

 

 

It’s a much shorter timeline for starter Brayan Bello to return to the team. The youngster is slated to return on Monday against Shohei Ohtani and the Angels on Boston Marathon day, per Speier.

Red Sox slugger's recovery from injury could be longer than expected

 

 

Bello was slowed this spring discomfort in his elbow. Such discomfort is usually hugely alarming in a young pitcher, but it seems it was in fact minor and Bello will only miss the first few weeks of the season.

Bello worked to a 4.71 ERA over 57.1 innings last year with a 20.5% strikeout rate and a 10.1% walk rate.

Bello was tagged for a .404 opponent BABIP, which suggests he might expect to be a little more fortunate in that department over a larger sample size, and indeed his FIP sat at 2.94.

 

 

Red Sox slugger's recovery from injury could be longer than expected

It’ll be intriguing to see how Boston’s rotation shapes up over the next few weeks. Bello’s return will likely be followed by veteran James Paxton, who made another minor league rehab start as he works his way back from a hamstring injury.

 

 

According to Speier, manager Alex Cora expects Paxton to make at least one more rehab start, but it seemingly won’t be long before he too can be activated from the IL.

Since 2020, Paxton has made just six starts for the Yankees and Mariners, getting tagged for a 6.65 ERA in a small sample size as he battled injury. He signed with the Red Sox last season, but Tommy John recovery and a lat strain prevented him from ever taking to the mound.

Red Sox slugger's recovery from injury could be longer than expected

He exercised a $4M player option ahead of the 2023 campaign, but the hamstring injury sustained in spring training delayed his debut.

When he does return, the Red Sox will have some decisions to make in their rotation. Chris Sale and Corey Kluber likely aren’t going anywhere, which would leave Tanner Houck, Nick Pivetta and Garrett Whitlock as the options to be forced out.

The Sox seemed determined to give Whitlock a shot at becoming a starter, but if he struggles he might be an easy option to return to a relief role, where he has found tremendous success.

Red Sox slugger's recovery from injury could be longer than expected

Of course, given the injury history of a number of Boston’s starters, it’s possible all of this just figures itself out or they opt to go with a larger rotation to reduce the workload on their arms.

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