The Red Sox have shut infielder Adalberto Mondesí down from all baseball activities because of ongoing soreness in his left knee, skipper Alex Cora told reporters (including Chris Cotillo of MassLive). While Boston isn’t officially declaring him down for the season, there isn’t much time for his rehab to get going in earnest.
Mondesí has unfortunately struggled to rebound from an ACL tear suffered last April. There was never any doubt that’d end his 2022 campaign but the Sox felt comfortable enough with his health to roll the dice on an offseason trade. They acquired him (and minor league infielder Angel Pierre) in a swap that sent reliever Josh Taylor to the Royals. Boston expressed hope Mondesí would be ready around Opening Day — or at least early enough in the season to help cover for Trevor Story after his elbow surgery — but it hasn’t come to pass.
The trade hasn’t worked out for either team, as Taylor’s recurring back troubles resulted in him undergoing surgery in late June. Mondesí hasn’t had to go back under the knife but his rehab has been littered with stops and starts. Cotillo writes that he’d progressed to running, hitting against live pitching, and fielding grounders before the knee pain became too much to push through.
While the ACL injury is the most significant Mondesí has faced, he has battled various health concerns throughout his career. He’d played in only around half of Kansas City’s games between 2019-21 while missing time due to groin, shoulder, hamstring and oblique problems.
When healthy, Mondesí has intrigued with elite speed, strong middle infield defensive ratings and switch-hitting power upside. An extraordinarily aggressive approach has undercut his offensive production, as he’s reached base at just a .280 clip in 358 MLB games.
There’s a growing chance he doesn’t wind up making an appearance for Boston. Story is back at shortstop, while Pablo Reyes has surprisingly become a key contributor. The 29-year-old infielder is hitting .321/.360/.443 in 115 plate appearances since being acquired in a minor league trade with the A’s in May, earning him the starting second base job of late.
Mondesí is making a $3.045MM arbitration salary. He’ll be a free agent at year’s end and could be limited to minor league offers if he doesn’t make it to the diamond this season.