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Josh Rutledge leaves game with hamstring strain

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Another day, another injury

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Despite Marco Hernandez’ hot spring, it was always assumed that he’d start the year in Triple-A. Josh Rutledge was ahead of him on the depth chart, and if he isn’t on the active roster he’d be exposed to waivers before the Rockies have an option to take him back in their organization. That equation changed on Tuesday when he left the game in the first inning with a hamstring strain.

This isn’t as impactful as the injuries to David Price and Tyler Thornburg, of course, but it changes things up for Boston just a week before the season begins. Rutledge figured to play a large role for this team as one of their few right-handed depth options. There’s no standout quality for him beyond that, but given the questions around Pablo Sandoval’s abilities — particularly against left-handed pitching — Rutledge was a solid piece of insurance.

At the moment, it’s unclear how long this injury will keep him out, but given how little time there is until the season starts there’s at least a chance he’ll miss Opening Day. If that is the case, Hernandez is the obvious choice to replace him on that roster. As I said above, the young infielder has been incredible this spring and is ready for his shot at the majors. While he doesn’t give them the right-handed insurance that Rutledge would provide, he gives the Red Sox much more upside. Beyond that, any time lost would also move Deven Marrero up the depth chart as the top minor-league infielder available. We’ll keep you updated when more information comes out.