During his 3rd stint on the DL and after playing just 30 games this season for the defending champs, Shane Victorino is going to have back surgery, ending his season. Hamstring and back injuries have crippled the Flyin Hawaiian throughout this season, and they’ll ultimately prove to be the end of his 2014 campaign.
While I would still hesitate to call Victorino injury prone, he isn’t exactly durable at this point. In 2015, he’ll be 34, and since 2011, he will have played 132, 154, 122, and 30 games respectively. And the pair of injuries this season are not exactly fluke injuries that would affect anyone and have no bearing going forward, like a broken collarbone or something. Hamstring and back injuries are a different story, and his ailments might be chronic at this point.
Take a look at the right fielder’s games played in 2013 again: 122. It’s difficult to remember now, since all that we think of from last season are the 4 million walk offs, career seasons for a lot of guys, and magical (and lucky) playoff run, but Victorino missed over a month. What this all should remind us is just how lucky the 2013 Boston Red Sox were to come out on top in October. They got the best possible results out of everybody. Victorino and Jacoby Ellsbury have shown in recent years that they aren’t anything close to Cal “Ironman” Ripken Jr., and they still combined for 73 bases stolen and incredible defensive range in center and right. Dustin Pedroia played through a thumb injury the entire season because he’s the Laser Show. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Jonny Gomes, Daniel Nava, John Lackey, Craig Breslow, and Mike Napoli all had years much better than we expected (remember, Napoli’s first contract with the Red Sox was rejected because of a hip issue that didn’t bother him much during the season). David Ortiz was awesome at age 37, and Koji Uehara was even better at age 38. And Jon Lester was an incredible ace.
Everything went right last year, and everything has gone wrong this year. Victorino’s injury is proof of that, and it’s also proof of just how grateful we all need to be for 2013.