By Matt Snyder
Newly acquired Red Sox outfielder Ryan Sweeney's path to being the starting right fielder just got a whole lot easier. With Josh Reddick out of the way, 23-year-old Ryan Kalish (pictured right) would have had a shot to win the job in spring training, but Kalish is now on the shelf. He had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left (throwing) shoulder and probably won't be ready by April.
“As far as starting the season on time, I don’t see it happening,” Kalish said (bostonherald.com). “I hope it would. That would be great. But with everything that’s happened, I just don’t know where I’ll be at come spring training. From what I’ve heard, the timetable on this type of a surgery is longer than when the season will start. Whatever happens, I’m going to be working really hard. As soon as I can get back out there, I’m going to be.”
Injuries ravaged Kalish's 2011 season, as he only appeared in 24 minor-league games. In 2010, he hit .252/.305/.405 in 179 plate appearances for the Red Sox, stealing 10 bases and showing decent extra-base power (11 doubles and a triple to go with his four homers).
Sweeney, 26, came to Boston in the Andrew Bailey trade and will likely only have to beat out Darnell McDonald to win the starting gig right out of the gate. Sweeney hit .265/.346/.341 last season for Oakland.
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