Red Sox utility man Danny Santana was forced to exit Tuesday night’s game against the Angels in the seventh inning due to a left quad injury, manager Alex Cora said.
Santana, who started at first base for Boston in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to Los Angeles, sustained the injury while running out a ground ball he hit to second base off Angels starter Shohei Ohtani.
In the process of trying to beat the throw to first, however, Santana came up limp, resulting in Bobby Dalbec taking over for him at first base.
When asked about how the veteran utility man was holding up during his postgame media availability, Cora hinted that a stint on the injured list could be possible.
“It’s his left quad, you saw him limping towards the end,” Cora said over Zoom. “Hopefully, he slowed down enough that it wasn’t that bad. Obviously, he’s getting treatment. It will come back tomorrow and see how he feels.”
Santana, who came into play Tuesday hitting .286 (8-for-28)/.310/.429 over his last seven games, is known for his speed, as evidenced by his 74 career stolen bases at the major-league level.
The 30-year-old switch-hitter also has a history when it comes to issues pertaining to his left quad, as he missed a significant portion of the 2017 season with the Braves due to a left quadriceps strain that ultimately required a stay on the 60-day IL.
“With him, obviously, speed is part of his game, and moving in the outfield and all that,” said Cora. “So we’re going to be very careful. He has past history with that. We’ll see where he’s at tomorrow and we’ll decide what we do.”
Santana being removed from Tuesday’s game because of injury comes one day after fellow utility man Marwin Gonzalez was forced to leave Monday’s contest at Angel Stadium on account of right hamstring tightness.
Cora had been hopeful that Gonzalez would be ready to return to action for Wednesday’s series finale against the Angels, but the possibility that he is not would put the Sox in a tough position with a short bench.
Calling up someone — like Michael Chavis or Franchy Cordero, for instance –from Triple-A Worcester would be a feasible option in this scenario were it not for the fact that the WooSox are currently taking on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in Allentown, Pa., which is approximately 2,690 miles Northeast of Anaheim.
“That’s what we were talking about,” Cora said. “There’s not too many bodies around here, and I don’t think they’re going to make it on time if we have to bring in somebody from outside.”
Backup catcher Kevin Plawecki, who has been on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain since June 22, has been traveling and working out with the team during this West Coast road trip.
With that in mind, the 30-year-old backstop could be activated off the IL before Wednesday’s game in the event that Boston would need a fresh body available off the bench in place of Santana and/or Gonzalez.
“Kevin is probably available,” said Cora. “If that’s the case, maybe. He ran the bases today, he’s been hitting. Tomorrow, he was going to have a heavy load of workouts behind the plate, throwing the bases and all that. If that goes well and we have to make a move, most likely it’s going to be Kevin. To have a body with Connor (Wong), who we can move around and Christian (Arroyo), too. So we feel comfortable if that’s the case.”
The Red Sox close out their three-game series against the Angels on Wednesday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Danny Santana: Theoron W. Henderson/Getty Images)