HomeMLB RumorsTriston Casas Facing Notable Absence Due To Rib Fracture

Triston Casas Facing Notable Absence Due To Rib Fracture

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Red Sox skipper Álex Cora acknowledged over the weekend that there was concern about a potentially “lengthy absence” for first baseman Triston Casas following a rib injury, and it now seems those fears were warranted. Cora announced to the Red Sox beat that an MRI revealed a left rib fracture for Casas (X link via MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo), adding that the slugger is expected to be sidelined for “a while.” Cora didn’t delve into specifics but noted that Bobby Dalbec will pick up the bulk of playing time at first base in his absence.

The news is obviously rough for the Red Sox, as Casas has emerged as a consistently above-average hitter early in his career. Though he just turned 24 years old in January, he now has 687 major league plate appearances with 35 home runs and a walk rate of 14.7%. His 25.5% strikeout rate is a bit on the high side but the power and the free passes have led to a 252/.362/.482 batting line and 129 wRC+.

The Sox will now have to proceed without that production for some nebulous amount of time. “Time-table? There’s none,” Cora said, per Ian Browne of MLB.com. “This has to heal on its own. We’ve just got to be patient.”

Regardless of the eventual length of his absence, it adds to a growing pile of injuries for the Red Sox. Trevor Story is out for the year due to shoulder surgery. Vaughn Grissom hasn’t yet made his debut with the team due to a groin strain, though he is on a rehab assignment and getting closer to joining the big league club. The rotation is without Lucas Giolito, Garrett Whitlock and Nick Pivetta at the moment. The Sox have managed to go 13-10 so far and stay afloat in a tough A.L. East race, but each injury will make it harder to keep that up as the grind of the season continues.

For now, Dalbec will step in at first base, despite having hit .033/.121/.067 on the year so far. He has generally hit will in Triple-A over the years but struggled whenever brought up to the majors. He has hit .224/.291/.434 in the big leagues, 93 wRC+, while striking out in 36.5% of his plate appearances. Dating back to the start of 2021, he has hit .265/.372/.558 in the minors. His 33.8% strikeout rate down on the farm in that time has still been high but that production leads to a 129 wRC+.

The Sox will be hoping that a run of consistent playing time will help Dalbec get into a groove and have his major league numbers more closely resemble what he’s done in the minors. The Sox could also keep their eyes open for other options. The Cubs just designated first baseman Garrett Cooper for assignment and Boston is a sensible landing spot for him, though it’s one of many. If the Red Sox end up finding someone they like for the first base gig more than Dalbec, he can play other positions and is also still optionable.

Assuming Casas is going to miss at least a couple of months, he’ll be moved to the 60-day injured list whenever the club needs a roster spot. He was already placed on the 10-day IL on the weekend.

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