As Red Sox fans, you might have winced when Cody Ross fouled a pitch into the inside of his foot on Friday night against the Phillies. After all, you watched Dustin Pedroia do the same thing back in 2010, and in the midst of a quality, power-filled season to boot.
Your flinching reaction was merited, though, as it turns out that Ross, like Pedroia, has broken the navicular bone in his foot, and will miss a "couple of months" because of it, according to manager Bobby Valentine. The fracture is considered small, but it's still a break, and will need time to heal.
Sadly for the Red Sox, the same can be said of nearly all of their outfielders. Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, and Ryan Kalish are all on the 60-day disabled list, while Jason Repko, Darnell McDonald, and now Ross are on the 15-day. That leaves Boston, until someone returns, with four outfielders: Daniel Nava, Marlon Byrd, Ryan Sweeney, and Che-Hsuan Lin.
Nava and Sweeney are the best bets for offense in the group. Nava hasn't shown a ton of power overall in the majors, but he knows how to draw a walk or two. Sweeney is likely the best pure hitter of the bunch, but is useless against lefties, meaning all four of these batters are going to end up seeing consistent playing time in the coming weeks. Best is a relative concept.
Luckily, except for Nava, this is a strong group of defenders, as there are three center fielders in the group. That's little comfort, all things considered, but it's something.