I don’t know about you guys, but I am positively ecstatic to bring you yet another Roster Recap of another one of the Red Sox’s cabal of middling middle infielders! Are you excited? Yeah, I didn’t really expect you to be. I’m just happy you’re here, really. I know, I wish J.D. Martinez would sign already too.
If you think this offseason has been dragging, well, Josh Rutledge was on the Red Sox for three seasons. Doesn’t really seem like it, but yes, he indeed logged 259 plate appearances with this team since 2015. And if that wasn’t enough, he was placed on the 60-day disabled list last year after he underwent surgery for patellar tendonitis, then he was optioned to Pawtucket, and after that, he elected to enter free agency. The Rockies then signed him to a minor league deal, but he was eligible to be picked in the Rule 5 draft, and wouldn’t you know it, the Red Sox brought him right back with the 14th pick in that draft. That seems like a bit much to bring back a guy with a career .695 OPS and a mediocre glove, but sometimes you just don’t understand the Red Sox.
Towards the tail-end of spring training, Rutledge suffered a left hamstring strain, and hit the 10-day DL to start the season. He didn’t return until April 25th, then had to be sat for a few games in early June thanks to dehydration. Then he had to be put on the 7-day concussion DL in late June, and spoke of “persistent soreness” in his hip. By the end of July, Rutledge was (once again) on the 60-day DL, having needed surgery on that hip, and he underwent the knife in late August. The Red Sox outrighted him this winter.
Admittedly, that’s a lot, and if you think that was exhausting to read, imagine writing it. Or watch him try to hit. That’s pretty draining too.
What Went Right
He did a cool thing here and there, I guess.
Otherwise, not much else. He did get paid to play baseball professionally, which is a pretty good thing no matter how you frame it.
What Went Wrong
His medical history is so lengthy and filled with injuries that even glass thinks he’s too fragile. 2017 was no exception.
He also posted a .558 OPS in 118 PA, and racked up a -0.3 WARP. Yikes.
What To Expect
Whatever he does, it won’t be with the Red Sox. Rutledge signed a minor-league deal with the San Francisco Giants in December, so now he’s behind such players as Evan Longoria and Pablo Sandoval. Hopefully, the Red Sox don’t feel like reclaiming him this time, and let the less injury-prone guys on the bench do the heavy lifting when it comes to being a part-time player. This isn’t even a “if you love something, let it go” situation — the Red Sox just need to let go.
Photo by Winslow Townson — USA TODAY Sports