In the first four weeks of the season, Yamaico Navarro was tearing the cover off the ball, batting .321/.430/.607 and leading the International League with a 1.037 OPS.
(Photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
So it seemed strange when the 23-year-old infielder/outfielder suffered a strained oblique muscle not while taking a vicious swing but after trying to bunt for a base hit.
“After I bunted and started to run, my oblique area felt a little bit tight,” Navarro said. “When I went to the doctor, I told him I had a problem with my oblique. I had never had anything like that before. It kept me out longer than I thought it would.”
Navarro was out of action for six weeks and has struggled since returning to the PawSox lineup. Yamaico is 2-for-23 with 1 HR since being activated, and his batting line has dropped to .278/.391/.528.
“He’s been down for awhile so he’s got to get his timing back,” said PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler. “It’s like spring training all over again for him. He’s got to get himself back into shape and it will take care of itself. When guys come back and they haven’t played in awhile, the game is kind of fast for them.”
“My swing is not 100% right now – maybe 50% right now,” Navarro said. “I’m working every day to get all the way back. My swing feels a little slow, but I’m trying man.”
Five days after Yamaico strained his oblique on May 3rd, Marco Scutaro went on the disabled list with a similar injury in Boston. The Red Sox promoted Jose Iglesias for 12 days before replacing him on the big league roster with Drew Sutton. Shortly after Scutaro returned from his injury on June 7th, Jed Lowrie went on the D.L. with a shoulder strain meaning a return to Boston for Sutton.
That’s nearly two months of major league time that probably would have gone to Navarro if he had been healthy.
“There are no guarantees, but he’s got to do what he did that put him in that position before,” Beyeler said. “He’s got to work hard, stay in shape, and get rolling again and see what happens.”
The good news for Navarro is that the oblique injury is no longer an issue.
“I feel great man,” Yamaico told me. “Right now, I don’t feel any pain. I’m hungry and I want to play every night. I love to play baseball man.”
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The Indy (Above) .500 – Less than a month ago, “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” – the Indy 500 – was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In roughly 7 months (hopefully), Indianapolis will host Super Bowl XLVI on February 5, 2012 at Lucas Oil Stadium. In between those two epic events is this weekend’s 4-game series between two teams with winning records – the Pawtucket Red Sox and Indianapolis Indians. The PawSox – who are 3-1 on their 8-game road trip after a 4-3 win (10 innings) at Louisville on Thursday night – face Indianapolis tonight at 7:15 pm, tomorrow night at 7:05 pm, Sunday afternoon at 2:05 pm, and Monday night at 7:05 pm.
High Five – The PawSox are 38-34 and can equal their high-water mark of 5-games over .500 with a win tonight in Indianapolis. The PawSox have been 5-games over .500 on three occasions this year (18-13, 30-25, and 31-26). The Sox have not dropped below .500 since they were 4-5 on April 15th.
I hope you’ll join us for radio coverage tonight beginning with the pre-game show at 7:00 on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.
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