Kalish hopes to finally be on the road to full health

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Kalish hopes to finally be on the road to full health

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Ryan Kalish thought the worst was behind him.

It turns out he was wrong.

Kalish's last two seasons were marred by neck and shoulder surgeries. After two procedures and plenty of rehab, he thought he on the road to full health.

But over the winter, Kalish began experiencing some pain in his right shoulder -- he had undergone an operation in his left (throwing) surgery after the 2011 season. After trying to overcome the discomfort, he recently gave in to the inevitable and underwent a procedure by noted orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum at the end of January.

The surgery repaired a torn labrum and will keep the outfielder sideline from anywhere from four to six months, effectively wiping out most -- if not all -- of 2013.

"Obviously, I've been really down," said Kalish. "I kind of disappeared and I didn't talk (to reporters) and I apologize. But it's been really tough for me. I really just want to play again. At this point, I'm just tired of being hurt.

"I'm happy that I got it fixed because it just wasn't working. It was just too much pain and too hard to play with. It wouldn't have been good for me or the team, so it was definitely time to do it."

Were he healthy, Kalish was going to be given the chance to be part of a platoon in left field with Jonny Gomes, with the Sox looking for a lefthanded bat to pair with Gomes.

Instead, for the second spring in row, however, Kalish is little more than a bystander in spring training, limited to cardio work and some drills that don't involve using his right shoulder, which sits in a sling.

The issue with the right shoulder dates back to last season, when he experienced soreness as soon as was cleared to swing a bat. He appeared in 36 games with the Sox, but clearly wasn't himself, amassing just three extra-base hits in 96 at-bats. He hit just .229 with an OPS of .532.

"I had a feeling (it was an issue),'' he said. "Obviously, with all I've been through, the last thing I wanted to do was another surgery. We decided to keep pushing through and keep trying. Eventually, after a couple of shutdowns and more strengthening and no swinging, then as soon as you pick up the swinging, it hurts again.

"Eventually, I just got tired of it and I had to make the call. I said 'Listen, I just can't do this anymore. The pain is one thing; but the other is my head. It's been a crazy ride since 2010 and I just need to get healthy."

Doctors have told him that this injury may have been the result of trying to compensate for his surgically-repaired left shoulder last season, but Kalish suspects the right shoulder was damaged previously.

"When you come back from a surgery during the season," said Kalish, "you're going to feel that injury. I don't know if I was able to get through the zone as much with my left shoulder, which (forced me to) use my right. Obviously, we'll never really know the truth. But it hurt too much to do anything good for anybody."

With months of rehab ahead, Kalish's lone consolation is that there's little more that can go wrong with his upper torso.

"Once you have the two shoulders the neck,'' he said, "I think it's time to be right. I hope."

Rosenthal: 'Some' Sox players question Farrell's leadership, game management

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Rosenthal: 'Some' Sox players question Farrell's leadership, game management

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal ignited a local firestorm when he made a seemingly off-hand comment a few days ago that he "wouldn't be surprised" if the Red Sox fired John Farrell this year. (He quickly added he also "wouldn't be surprised" if Farrell stayed on and led the team to the A.L. East title this year, but that got scant mention.)

Today, however, Rosenthal expounded on Farrell and the Sox in a lengthy column on foxsports.com. While acknowledging the team's injuries and beyond-the-manager's-control inconsistencies (in the starting rotation and with the offense), he also ominously added, "The excuses for the Sox, though, go only so far — all teams deal with injuries, and not all of them boast $200 million payrolls. Other issues also have emerged under Farrell . . . "

Farrell, even when he won the 2013 World Series as a rookie manager, was not popular in all corners of the clubhouse. Some players, but not all, believe that he does not stand up for them strongly enough to the media when the team is struggling, sources say. Some also question Farrell’s game management, talk that exists in virtually every clubhouse, some more than others.

And then he mentioned two leadership problems:

The first occurred during the Red Sox’s prolonged dispute with the Orioles’ Manny Machado. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, after Matt Barnes threw at Machado’s head, shouted across the field to Machado, 'it wasn’t me,' then told reporters that it was 'definitely a mishandled situation,' without mentioning Barnes or Farrell by name . . . 

The second incident occurred last Saturday, when Farrell engaged in a heated exchange with left-hander Drew Pomeranz in the dugout . . . [Pomeranz's] willingness to publicly challenge Farrell, in an exchange captured by television cameras, offered another indication that the manager and some of his players are not always on the same page.

Hmm.

Farrell addressed the "hot seat" issue Tuesday in an interview with MLB Network Radio.

Rosenthal's piece comes at a time when some of Farrell's harshest local critics are more or less giving him a pass, instead blaming Dave Dombrowski's flawed roster construction for the Sox' early season struggles , , , 

But there has been speculation hereabouts on whether or not Farrell has control of the clubhouse . . . 

Now that Rosenthal has weighed in, that sort of talk should increase.

In the end, Rosenthal makes no prediction on Farrell's future other than to conclude "If Dombrowski senses a change is necessary, he’ll make a change." 

But one prediction that can be made: The should-Farrell-be-fired? debate, which raged at unrealistic levels last year when the Red Sox won the division, isn't going to end anytime soon.