Take another deep breath. Exhale slowly. On the eve of the playoffs, it appears the Red Sox have narrowly avoided another potentially serious injury.
According to a team source, the second set of X-rays taken on the hand of shortstop Alex Gonzalez this morning were negative. Gonzalez was hit on the right hand in the eighth inning of Friday night's game, but the X-rays showed no fracture, and the Sox expect him to be ready to go when the playoffs begin this week.
The news comes a week after starter Jon Lester took a comebacker off his leg in a game against the Yankees and emerged well enough to make his next start against the Indians on Thursday. Lester, expected to start for the Sox in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Angels, and Gonzalez, who has plugged a glaring hole at shortstop since coming to Boston Aug. 14, figure to be key components to Boston's playoff run.
Gonzalez said last night he, "had no pain. I feel good. I can move my fingers and hand, my wrist. I hope there’s nothing big. I can use my hand, and I can squeeze.’’
Gonzalez is not scheduled to be in today’s lineup anyway, with Jed Lowrie getting the start. In 43 games with Boston, Gonzalez has hit .285, with an OPS of .755. He has scored 25 runs while steadying the team's defense up the middle.