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Trades, Injuries Leave Sox With “Weakest Roster”

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Bobby Valentine (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Bobby Valentine (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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TORONTO (AP) _ Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine says his
team’s roster is beyond depleted.
Valentine was asked before Friday night’s game in Toronto what
part of his last-place club would benefit most from some extra
call-ups.

“Are you kidding?” Valentine said. “This is the weakest
roster we’ve ever had in September in the history of baseball. It
could use help everywhere.”

Winding down a forgettable season, the Red Sox began the day
with a record of 64-80, 171/2 games behind Baltimore and New York in
the AL East. Boston, 11-29 since Aug. 1, would be eliminated from
the division race with a loss Friday and a win by either the
Yankees or Orioles.

The Red Sox have lost 18 of 23 overall. Among AL teams, only
Cleveland and Minnesota have worse records.
Boston’s roster has been thinned by trades and injuries. Josh
Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto were dealt to the Dodgers
last month, along with injured outfielder Carl Crawford. Veteran
Kevin Youkilis was traded to the Chicago White Sox earlier this
season.

Slugger David Ortiz and rookie Will Middlebrooks are two of the
five Red Sox currently on the disabled list, a list that also
includes long-term absentee John Lackey. Former MVP Dustin Pedroia
is away following the birth of his second son, but is expected to
rejoin the Red Sox in Toronto sometime this weekend.

For now, Boston has only five outfielders on its roster and,
with Pedroia gone, just five infielders.
“We have a couple of options,” Valentine said. “Not a lot of
them.”

Outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and Friday night’s starter, Daisuke
Matsuzaka, are among the Boston players who have missed extended
periods this year. In all, 27 players have made 34 trips to the DL.

Valentine said the Red Sox might add “one or two players” from
Triple-A Pawtucket in the coming days. Pawtucket completed a
three-game sweep to win its first International League championship
since 1984 on Thursday, and will have a one-game playoff against
the Pacific Coast League winners, either Reno or Omaha, next
Tuesday.
“If there are people who could be brought up, we should bring
them up,” Valentine said. “But I don’t know that there’s a lot of
guys left.”

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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