Injuries Slow Down Boston's Kalish
BOSTON—Ryan Kalish is two years removed from what seemed like his emergence as a future fixture with the Red Sox. In 2009 and 2010, while progressing from high Class A Salem to the majors, he showed a potentially impactful combination of speed, power, on-base skills and defense.
But after a promising two-month cameo as an everyday big league outfielder in 2010, injuries derailed him. He suffered labrum and neck injuries that required a pair of surgeries that wiped out his 2011 season. Ultimately, Kalish got back to the big leagues in 2012, but he wasn't the same player who showed so much promise as a 22-year-old. While there were some glimpses, he struggled with the physical reality of two years spent rehabbing rather than adding strength, hitting a feeble .229/.272/.260 with three extra-base hits (all doubles) and three steals in 36 games.
The frustrating experience convinced Kalish to stay in Boston this winter to work out and receive treatment from members of the Sox training staff. With his first chance to build strength in roughly two years, the 24-year-old saw immediate results.
"(During the 2012 season) I felt so weak and just not strong overall," Kalish said. "Playing a game kind of took a lot out of me. I want to be active right now. That's a different feeling than I've had the last two years."
Kalish is hopeful that he's at the start of a process that will play out much like his 2007-09 seasons did. In 2007, surgery to repair a broken hamate left him unable to work out prior to the 2008 season. He struggled physically that year, but in 2009, he broke out as a multi-dimensional prospect with 18 homers and 21 steals.
"I came back with the power everyone wanted to see from me. I'm hoping to come back the same next year," he said. "It's been a rough two years. I just haven't been the same. I'd just love to rebound, play well and be healthy."
• After a one-year hiatus, the Red Sox will reinstitute their rookie development program to familiarize prospects who are 12 to 18 months from the majors with Boston, Fenway Park and team officials.
• Righthander Anthony Ranaudo's participation in the Puerto Rican League was cut short due to a minor recurrence of the groin problems that slowed him out of spring training.