The Boston Red Sox placed All-Star third baseman Rafael Devers on the 10-day injured list on Saturday because of inflammation in his right hamstring. Devers sustained the injury during Friday's humbling 28-5 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Outfielder Jaylin Davis has been recalled from Triple-A in a corresponding move.
The loss of Devers is a critical one for Boston. This season, the 25-year-old is batting .324/.379/.602 (164 OPS+) with 22 home runs and 29 doubles in 87 games played. Devers by a significant margin has been the Red Sox's most valuable performer this season. At this juncture, it's not certain how long Devers will be sidelined.
Devers' injury occurs against the backdrop of declining fortunes for Boston. They'll enter play on Saturday having lost seven of their last eight and with a mark of 5-13 in July. At present, Alex Cora's club is just two games above .500 despite having been a season-best 11 games over as recently as June 26, and they're just 1 1/2 games ahead of the last-place Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. There's also this:
The Red Sox have a -47 run differential over their last 3 games, the worst over a 3-game span in the Modern Era (since 1900).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 23, 2022
It's the 4th-worst run differential in MLB history and worst since the Louisville Colonels in 1894. pic.twitter.com/xV7JEwMU8w
All of this complicates GM Chaim Bloom's approach to the upcoming Aug. 2 trade deadline. Red Sox ownership has been loath to invest in the roster at adequate levels, and the teams recent struggles and injury concerns (notably, Chris Sale is also out for a significant stretch of time with a finger fracture) may give the front office the cover it seeks to do nothing at the deadline or even undertake a sell-off. Coming into Saturday's game against Toronto, the SportsLine Projection System gave the Red Sox just a 22.9 percent chance of making the 12-team postseason field.