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PawSox OF Bryce Brentz waiting to get healthy before thinking about major league call-up

06.10.14 at 11:23 am ET
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(Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox)

Bryce Brentz’s injuries the last two seasons have prevented the outfielder from making his major league debut. (Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox)

PAWTUCKET, R.I. — When Bryce Brentz made an impression on the Red Sox with his strong performance during spring training, there was not a spot on the roster that the outfielder could fill. Grady Sizemore was the comeback story of the spring, Daniel Nava was the leadoff hitter and coming off the best season of his career, and Jackie Bradley Jr. was firmly established as the next man up should someone sustain an injury. There simply was not room for Brentz, a 2010 supplemental first-round pick.

Fast forward two months and the Red Sox outfielders collectively are the worst group in the majors, hitting .214/.295/.320 with a -0.8 WAR. While the Red Sox could potentially utilize Brentz’s services considering the group’s offensive struggles, Brentz is not in any position to help — the outfielder has a bum hamstring and has not played in a game since mid-May.

The hamstring injury that Brentz sustained has been so slow to heal that he underwent an MRI before Monday’s game to make sure that there wasn’t anything structurally wrong.

While he is frustrated with his situation, Brentz does not dwell on the possibility that he could be in the majors right now were he not injured.

“I don’t really pay attention to it” Brentz said. “It doesn’t bother me. What goes on up there, they’ve got to take care of what they can take care of and what they can control and what they think is best for the team. Right here with my position, I’ve got to take care of myself and get myself healthy before I can think of anything beyond that.”

Brentz sustained multiple injuries in 2013, a leg injury sustained from a gun cleaning incident before spring training and a torn meniscus in his right knee at the end of July. The injuries prevented Brentz from making any contribution at the major league level after entering the season with the perception that he was not far from the majors.

After his two injuries last season, Brentz says there is not reason to dwell on what could have been.

“I’m just dealing with it,” Brentz said. “I’m realistic and I’m not going to sit there and think about what could have happened if I was healthy right now or last year. There are too many circumstances that you can’t really comment on. … Yeah, it’s frustrating to be injured. Everybody is the same way, everybody is frustrated if they can’t play, but just as anyone else would be, just want to get better, take care of yourself and get your body ready to go out there and play.”

Although he does not focus on what might have been a lost opportunity to make an impact at the major league level, Brentz does think every day about getting the call to Boston.

“I think every player has thought about it in this clubhouse, especially throughout baseball. If they are in Triple-A, they are one step away and one phone call away. So yeah, it’s definitely crossed my mind,” Brentz said. “It’s crossed everybody’s mind every day to get up there and play and help contribute, but unfortunately it’s not going to happen right now being on the shelf, so you keep getting treatment done and get healthy and come back and see what happens.”

Brentz has an idea of the Red Sox‘ outfield struggles but said he does not pay close attention to the extent of the issue.

“Those guys up there have to take care of themselves,” Brentz said. “I have to get healthy, so we watch the games and stuff. I’m not oblivious, but all I care about is trying to get healthy and get back on the field.”

While his injuries have come at an inopportune time, Brentz understands that this is part of the game.

“I’d like to stay healthy the entire season, and I’m sure anybody would,” Brentz said. “But for some reason, I’ve been plagued the last two years. Hopefully this is the end of it.”

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