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Thursday, December 29, 2011
Ryan Kalish had shoulder surgery

By Joe McDonald
ESPNBoston.com

A day after the Boston Red Sox traded outfielder Josh Reddick to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for pitcher Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney, it was revealed that Red Sox outfielder Ryan Kalish had surgery to repair a labrum tear in his left shoulder in November.

Because of the procedure, the 23-year-old Kalish will not be ready for Opening Day.

"He had a scope done on his shoulder after the season," explained Sox general manager Ben Cherington via email Thursday. "This was related to his injury back in April. He should be hitting in spring training and back in the outfield early in the season."

After a promising debut with the Red Sox in 2010, Kalish missed the majority of last season at Triple-A Pawtucket with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, which he suffered while making a spectacular catch in center field for the PawSox on April 21. He was reinstated on Aug. 8 and played only a few games until he landed back on the DL with right trapezius inflammation. He had season-ending surgery to repair a bulging disk in his neck in September.

Kalish explained to the Boston Globe that rehabbing from the shoulder procedure was going to be a long process.

"It's not the easiest rehab in the world and we're only a few weeks into it," Kalish said. "I'm working to get my range of motion back and we'll go from there. Nobody has told me a timetable, but I know it will be a while."

Kalish hit .252 with four homers and 24 RBIs in 53 games for Boston in 2010, and was considered by some to be part of the equation for the team in right field this season. That still might be the case, and certainly for the long term, but he doesn't figure to be ready to contribute at the big league level for a while.

Like Kalish, Sweeney hits left-handed. He figures to have a spot on the big league roster, perhaps as a fourth outfielder or in a platoon role in right field with a right-handed hitter. Besides Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury and Sweeney, the only healthy, major league ready outfielders the Sox have on the roster are Darnell McDonald and Mike Aviles, who is an infielder by trade but has played some outfield recently in winter ball.

Cherington is expected to add more depth to that group before the start of spring training.

Joe McDonald covers the Red Sox and Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.