Thursday, February 08, 2007

Youk Coming Back Healthy, And Happy!

It seems that our first baseman and number two hitter in the lineup was playing hurt for the last month of 2006. The Herald had a great article in their Wednesday edition, excerpted here and available in its entirety by clicking on the title of this post. And I'll have a couple things to say, after this.......

"Already dealing with a neck strain and a sore knee, the Red Sox [team stats] first baseman assumed that it was just another nick that was contributing to a sluggish finish to his first full season in the majors. Only when the offseason arrived, however, did Youkilis come to realize the severity of the injury.
“Usually, I just take a month to rest and then I get right back at it,” said Youkilis, who primarily resides in the Phoenix area in the offseason. “The month passed and it was still there in November. I could do some cardio work but I couldn’t do any sprints or anything like that. I was worried that I had a sports hernia, but I checked out OK. They said it was just a lower abdominal strain. Even so, it’s nothing that I’d want to go through again.”
Youkilis, who batted only .216 in September and didn’t hit a home run in his final 127 at-bats, was prescribed a rehabilitation program specific to the injury in December, which only recently led to the dissipation of discomfort.
“This week was really the first week I started feeling normal again,” he said. “Luckily, I’m feeling great now, just in time for spring training.”

Peter here. And those words have to bring a smile to every member of RSN. He's feeling great! We all saw the production drop off that Kevin went through last September. He usually is an on-base machine, but he was struggling late last year....struggling to even make contact with the ball. He is one of our best contact hitters, and he doesn't strike out much. And that's huge........a contact hitter who will thrive batting second, after leadoff guy Julio Lugo and before the power trio (wow...that's nice to say!) of Papi and Manny and J.D.D. 5 tough outs...five guys who will be on base all year. And with Mikey Lowell and Tek to follow in the order, well, you get the idea. We should score a ton of runs this year, taking pressure away from a yet-to-be-finished project that is called the Red Sox bullpen. If the pieces fall into place there, the sky's the limit for our Sox. And a healthy Kevin Youklis, with his solid glovework at first and his selective eye at the plate, is a vital cog for the team we love.
Enjoy your Thursday, my readers, and read the entire article by clicking on the title. Thanks for being here. As always.

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