CHICAGO, IL: Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after striking out in the third inning against the Chicago White Sox in the third inning at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Kevin Youkilis is dealing with a back problem, and he's dealing with it poorly enough that the Red Sox have put him on the disabled list.
Sunday, Kevin Youkilis was scratched from the Red Sox's lineup with what was reportedly ordinary back stiffness. Just a stiff back for a 33-year-old. No big deal. Youkilis was back in the lineup on Monday. Then he was scratched from it. Then he was left out of the lineup on Tuesday. Not long after, this worrisome tidbit:
According to a baseball source, Kevin Youkilis was "hurting" last night, the stiffness in his lower back only intensifying, not abating.
Well all right. It stood to reason that Youkilis might need a stint on the disabled list, and now, on Wednesday, Youkilis is getting a stint on the disabled list:
Youkilis officially to DL.
It's retroactive to Sunday. Youkilis says he's feeling better, but the Red Sox are opting for the safe approach, because they don't want to go the potentially-sorry approach. The Red Sox have been sorry before. It's unpleasant.
In more exciting news for the Red Sox and their fans, prospect Will Middlebrooks has been called up to take Youkilis' place. The 23-year-old third baseman was ranked by Baseball America as baseball's No. 51 prospect before the season, and he's posted a four-digit OPS with triple-A Pawtucket. In 100 trips to the plate, he slugged nine home runs.
Middlebrooks is expected to fill in for Youkilis as long as he's out.