The Red Sox had a slate of injury updates ready for the beat when the clubhouse opened before Tuesday's 6:05 game against the Nationals, some of it good, some of it not so good, and one bit whose ultimate meaning is unclear at this point. The last of those comes first: shortstop Xander Bogaerts will undergo an MRI on his knee, as it's still sore today after he slipped heading back to third during Monday's game.
The soreness could very well be nothing, and this could be just a precautionary scan to make sure the Red Sox and Bogaerts don't cause any damage to a vital body part. So, don't panic just yet, because this could all turn out to be nothing, just like an MRI revealed that Rusney Castillo's shoulder had no structural damage from the diving catch he made that sent him to the disabled list. That, by the way, is the good news from our three options above.
While there is no timetable for Castillo's return just yet, inflammation instead of structural damage likely means he'll be back sooner than later, and Boston's outfield depth won't be compromised for more than a few weeks.
As for the bad, Red Sox reliever Brandon Workman is visiting Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his sore elbow, which he began experiencing discomfort in during his final outing of spring training. Generally speaking -- not 100 percent of the time, but often enough to cause concern -- players visit Dr. Andrews to confirm that they do indeed need Tommy John surgery, ending their season.
Losing Workman would cut into Boston's relief depth, and it could also be devastating for Workman's own career with the Sox, as there are more pitchers than there are spots available in the upper portions of Boston's system at the moment. Losing a year means losing the opportunity to stand out, and possibly on taking a job opening in the bullpen as the season goes on, which could in turn mean he's stuck in the minors for even longer.
Workman is still young, but he's not that young, as he's 26 years old and won't be back pitching until he's 27 if it turns out he does require significant surgery.
For now, though, that's the one to be concerned about, as Bogaert's knee is just sore and the MRI hasn't happened yet, and the news on Castillo seems good. If Workman does require Tommy John, he'll be the second Red Sox player to undergo the procedure this season: projected starting catcher Christian Vazquez is out for 2015 thanks to his own Tommy John, though, the recovery time for position players is a bit different and shorter than that of pitchers.