BOSTON -- Kevin Youkilis was placed on the disabled list Wednesday, and Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington hopes the rest will help the veteran third baseman get straightened out.
"I think the injury and his low offensive numbers are related," Cherington said. "I don't think he has felt real good. He started to feel better and swing the bat better, and there were some good signs the end of the last homestand and the early part of the road trip. He started to put some doubles together. And then the back started bothering him over the weekend in Chicago.
"He's got to feel better physically. Coming off last year, where he missed a lot of time, he was just kind of getting back in. It's an unorthodox approach, obviously, what he does with his hands. And he was starting to get comfortable with that again and the back flared up. If he feels better and he's playing consistently, we know he's going to hit. We just got to get to that point . . .
"It's not uncommon for one injury in one part of the body to have some correlation to another . . . And he's had a lot of issues around his core. So we just felt like this was the time to put him on the disabled list and give him a chance to get ahead of some of this stuff instead of asking him to swim upstream for the next two months."
Youkilis is in the final year of his contract, and Cherington noted: "Obviously, he's more motivated than anyone to get out there and play. He's got a lot of reasons to do that."
So do the Sox.
"It's a long year and we need Youkilis' bat in the middle of our lineup," said Cherington. "And when he's not feeling good, he's not the same guy. Hopefully, this downtime will let him get ahead of stuff and so that it's not nagging him all year."