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Ryan Kalish Reportedly Requires Surgery, Could Miss Spring Training

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The beleaguered Red Sox outfielder might be in line to miss even more time

Jim Rogash

According to Matthew Stucko of Minor League Baseball's official site, Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish will undergo yet another surgery. This will likely cause him to miss the start of spring training, and, in Stucko's words, "quite some time" beyond that.

Now, nothing has been confirmed elsewhere yet, in terms of what it is Kalish needs surgery for (though, it's likely either his shoulder or neck, two problem areas that plagued him in 2012 as well), or just how long he is expected to be out. But, if he does indeed require surgery, and will miss time this spring, it lessens the chances of his contributing to the Red Sox in a meaningful way even further. His best shot at making the big-league club was a huge spring that overshadows Daniel Nava, and if he can't show up to play, that isn't going to happen. On top of that, he can't finish up an off-season of regular preparation and rest, and could be leapfrogged on the outfield depth chart by someone like Jackie Bradley or Bryce Brentz depending on the length of his absence.

The 2013 season is a significant one for Kalish, as he's down to his last of his three player options -- he needed to prove he could be healthy enough to contribute to the Red Sox this year, before they have to make a decision about whether to keep him on the 40-man, make him a starter or a bench player, or possible trade him if none of those options turn out to be satisfactory. This is taking things to the extreme, but if Kalish ends up missing all of 2013, since he would be on the 60-day disabled list, his option would remain in place for 2014. As of now, though, there's no indication his recovery would necessitate that kind of time.

From a talent perspective, Kalish still has what's needed to be a productive contributor in the majors. In his last healthy season, he hit .294/.382/.502 between stints at Double- and Triple-A, and debuted in the majors with a 710 OPS that's certainly tolerable from a 22-year-old outfielder at his third level of the season. That was back in 2010, though, and Kalish has yet to be either healthy or productive since, thanks to neck and shoulder injuries and the subsequent recovery from surgeries on each.

[Update 4:23 pm: Rob Bradford is also reporting that Kalish will have surgery, and is expected to miss spring training. While again, the reason for the surgery is unspecified, Bradford does mention that it's not for his neck.]