Red Sox outfielder Masataka Yoshida has been scratched from Wednesday’s starting lineup against the Rays due to right hamstring tightness, manager Alex Cora told reporters (including Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe) at Tropicana Field.
Yoshida was originally starting in left field and batting cleanup for Boston in the second game of this four-game series in St. Petersburg. Now that he has been taken out of the lineup on account of a tight hamstring, Raimel Tapia will move from center to left field while Enrique Hernandez will shift from shortstop to center field and play there for the first time this season.
Bobby Dalbec was not in the original lineup. He will now start at short in Hernandez’s place and bat sixth as the Red Sox go up against Rays rookie right-hander Taj Bradley, who will be making his major-league debut. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
“We had to make some arrangements,” Cora said, per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.
According to Cora, the Red Sox do not believe Yoshida’s hamstring tightness is a serious issue. The 29-year-old is unlikely to play on Thursday as well, but the hope is he will be able to return to the lineup for Friday’s series opener against the Angels at Fenway Park.
“He showed up here, tried to run,” said Cora. “Obviously, if it’s later in the season, we’d push him to do it and he’d be OK to do it, but it doesn’t make sense to play him tonight.”
Yoshida, who signed a five-year, $90 million contract with Boston in December after spending the first seven years of his professional career in Japan, has started 10 of the Red Sox’ first 11 games this season. The left-handed hitter is currently batting .216/.356/.324 with one double, one home run, six RBIs, eight runs scored, two stolen bases, seven walks, and three strikeouts in 45 plate appearances.
(Picture of Masataka Yoshida: Mike Carlson/Getty Images)