Chris Young is finally back with the Boston Red Sox after a lengthy stint on the disabled list.
Young suffered a hamstring injury way back in the late days of June while rounding first base in a game against the White Sox. It was remarkably bad timing, too, as Young had already been pushed into the starting role due to injuries to Blake Swihart and Brock Holt.
To his credit, initially brought in as a lefty-mashing platoon bat, Young had done quite well in his limited time as a starter. An unreal tear against pitchers both lefty and righty left him with a .846 OPS by the time he went down, with that number at one point reaching as high as 1.002.
Since then, though, things have changed. Swihart is out for the season, and Holt has been moved back into his utility role, but Andrew Benintendi has arrived to take over left field. And while the Red Sox are occasionally fond of saying a starter doesn't lose his role to injury, that likely doesn't apply when that's how the starter got it in the first place.
That being said, with the Red Sox locked in a close playoff race, it's awfully hard to justify starting the inexperienced rookie against lefties over the veteran with exceptional splits, even if the rookie is pretty impressive in his own right. Chris Young probably won't see many more right-handed pitchers this year, but he should be expected to get the majority of lefties.
To make room for Young, the Red Sox optioned Henry Owens to Triple-A Pawtucket. On the off chance that Rodriguez misses another start, Owens can still be called up, as at that point the Sox would likely be placing Rodriguez on the disabled list, allowing them to circumvent the minimum time between a player being sent down and called back up. Of course, most of us would likely hope that the Sox give someone else a shot, but if all goes well, the question shouldn't even come up.