Ian Browne, of MLB.com, reports the Boston Red Sox placed outfielder J.D. Drew (back) on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, Aug. 26, with stiffness in his back and a herniated disc. He will be shut down for the next week and is available to return Tuesday, Sept. 2. The Red Sox recalled second baseman Joe Thurston from Triple-A Pawtucket to fill his roster spot.
The veteran initially left the game Aug. 17 after experiencing tightness in his back and has not played since. Drew, who has been bothered by back problems for most of his career, said he has been feeling better from his back problem the past few days but visited a spine specialist Monday, Aug. 25 in New York.
He is batting .280 with 19 home runs and 64 RBIs on the year but had been struggling before being sidelined. Since the All-Star break he has hit just .209 with two home runs and nine RBIs. Drew had a huge month in June, smacking 12 home runs and driving in 27 runs while hitting for a .337 average. His move to the disabled list is retroactive to Aug. 18.
Outfielder Coco Crisp was in center field and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury played right field Aug. 26 against the New York Yankees. Crisp is hitting .263 with seven home runs, 32 RBIs and 16 stolen bases on the season. Ellsbury has seven home runs, 38 RBIs and is hitting for a .263 clip on the year with 41 stolen bases.
Drew's injury could prompt the Sox to complete a waiver trade for Atlanta Braves outfielder Mark Kotsay; he was removed from the Braves' Aug. 26 contest without an explanation, and reports are saying the Sox are close to acquiring him. Kotsay is hitting .289 with six homers, 37 RBIs and two stolen bases with the Braves.
Thurston, who can play both the infield and outfield, was recalled to provide depth; he was hitting.314 with 10 home runs and 62 RBIs in 123 games with Triple-A Pawtucket. He was leading the International League with 155 hits.
Drew can be dropped in shallow leagues because of his recent slump at the plate. Owners of Drew in deep mixed and AL-only leagues should hang onto him if they are desperate for outfield help. It's understandable to drop him if you need help immediately for the fantasy baseball stretch run.
Crisp and Ellsbury figure to receive regular playing time, but their fantasy stocks will not see a considerable boost.
Kotsay's arrival would take some time away from them, though. Kotsay would be a worthy addition in AL-only leagues if he's traded to the Junior Circuit; those with weekly waivers and/or Free Agent Acquisition Budgets (FAABs) shouldn't spend too much on him, though, because he likely won't be starting every day.
Thurston may see some at-bats to give Crisp or Ellsbury a day off, but he shouldn't be considered in any fantasy leagues at this time since he might be sent back down if the team acquires Kotsay.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
Don't miss these great reports....