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Rusney Castillo placed on disabled list with shoulder injury

This leaves the Red Sox with only about six Major League outfielders available.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Rusney Castillo is headed to the disabled list with a shoulder injury the outfielder sustained in attempting to make a diving catch this past Saturday.

Castillo was in Boston Sunday to have his shoulder checked out by Boston's medical staff, and while the results were apparently not good enough to let him keep playing in Pawtucket, Alex Speier says that the news is not all bad:

Manager John Farrell is expected to offer more precise details regarding the nature of his shoulder injury later Tuesday, but multiple major league sources describe Castillo's prognosis as encouraging, suggesting that worst-case scenarios (such as surgery to repair a tear) appear unlikely to come to fruition at this time.

For the Red Sox, the decision to send Castillo to Pawtucket was made largely to preserve depth, allowing them to keep all of their Major League quality outfielders within the organization. Had they chosen to keep Castillo with the team and had him wind up on the disabled list just one week into the season, the Red Sox would be calling up Jackie Bradley Jr. right now, short one of Daniel Nava, Allen Craig, and Shane Victorino. Granted, there are no guarantees that Castillo hurts himself in the majors--in fact it seems entirely unlikely that the scenario would play out the same way--but this, at least, is the sort of thing the Red Sox had in mind when they made the controversial decision to send him dwon.

For Castillo, it's the latest in an already pretty long list of injuries that have kept him out of action for short periods over the last six months, with the most recent being the oblique injury that plagued him for the first half of spring training. It's not exactly a trend yet, and we haven't seen how he responds to these sorts of difficulties in, say, the middle of a playoff push. But it's still something to keep an eye on.

For now, though, we might have ourselves a time-frame for any outfield decisions. The Red Sox might not rush Castillo up to Fenway as soon as he's ready to start playing again, but when he's ready, the season might well be old enough for the Sox to find a place for him on the Major League roster even if everyone else is still healthy.