HomeMLB RumorsVaughn Grissom Likely To Miss Opening Day Due To Groin Strain

Vaughn Grissom Likely To Miss Opening Day Due To Groin Strain

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Vaughn Grissom will probably have to wait a bit longer to make his official Red Sox debut, as manager Alex Cora told reporters (including WEEI’s Rob Bradford) that the second baseman has been sidelined by a groin strain.  The severity of the injury isn’t yet known, though it is serious enough that Cora was doubtful that Grissom would be ready for Boston’s season open on March 28 in Seattle.

Grissom has yet to see any Grapefruit League action at all due to a prior hamstring problem, so between that injury and now the groin strain, his first spring camp in a Red Sox uniform hasn’t been particularly memorable.  It seems likely that Grissom will start the season on the 10-day injured list, as he’ll need time to both get healthy and then get some work in either at Spring Training proper or in extended spring camp to get himself at full readiness for regular-season games.

Amidst a relatively quiet offseason for the Red Sox, the club’s acquisition of Grissom stands out as its most headline-grabbing move.  The Sox traded Chris Sale and $17MM (to partially cover Sale’s salary) to the Braves in exchange for Grissom, with the intent of installing Grissom as a long-term answer at second base.  The position had been both a revolving door and a weak link for the Red Sox, but the Sox are hopeful that second base is now covered for the rest of the decade since Grissom is controlled through the 2029 season.

As an 11th-round pick for Atlanta in the 2019 draft, Grissom’s quick rise to the majors has been something of a surprise, particularly given the playing time lost during the canceled 2020 minor league season.  The Braves are known for aggressively promoting certain prospects they feel they can provide immediate help at the big league level, and Grissom’s huge numbers in the minors earned him a 41-game look in the Show in 2022, with Grissom hitting .291/.353/.440 over 156 plate appearances.

This impressive start hinted at a larger role and perhaps the everyday shortstop job for Grissom in 2023, though Orlando Arcia ended up taking that role and Grissom spent most of last season at Triple-A Gwinnett.  While Grissom continued to hit well at Triple-A, he had only 80 PA (hitting .280/.313/.347) in the majors since the Braves prioritized regular playing time for Grissom in the minors, and due to the durability of Arcia and mostly every member of Atlanta’s regular lineup.

Cora said that Enmanuel Valdez is the likeliest candidate to fill second base in Grissom’s absence, and players like Pablo Reyes, Rob Refsnyder, Romy Gonzalez, or Bobby Dalbec could also pick up the slack.  The Red Sox were known to be looking for some position-player depth this week and signed C.J. Cron to a minor league contract, though Cron is a first-base only player.  It seems possible the Sox might keep looking for a middle-infield type to further bolster their depth given Grissom’s situation.

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