The Red Sox are almost back to full strength, as Victor Martinez has been activated from the disabled list. Dusty Brown was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to open up the necessary roster spot.
This is huge for the Sox, obviously, as the catcher spot has been an absolute black hole for the team since Victor Martinez broke his thumb on June 28. Martinez had been steadily increasing his offensive production as the season went on, going from a .632 OPS in April, to a .878 mark in May, before putting up a huge .955 in June. Compare that to the offensive production of Kevin Cash, Dusty Brown, and Gustavo Molina, who have only 10 hits between them for the Sox--none for extra bases.
With Martinez finally back, that leaves just Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury as the Sox starters still on the disabled list. While Pedroia is, by all accounts, also close to returning, Ellsbury played in his first baseball game since May 24, making a rehab start in the Gulf Coast League, going 1-3 as the designated hitter.