Kyle Schwarber should give the Boston Red Sox an offensive boost down the stretch -- if he can get healthy.
Acquired from the Washington Nationals ahead of the MLB trade deadline, Schwarber hasn't played since July 2 as he rehabs from a right hamstring strain.
That rehab has hit a snag, according to The Athletic's Jen McCaffrey, who reports that Schwarber "has suffered a minor setback" due to "left groin tightness." The veteran outfielder experienced the groin tightness while doing running and fielding drills during the team's stay in Detroit last week, per McCaffrey.
Manager Alex Cora said prior to the Detroit series that team trainers were pleased by Schwarber's progress strength-wise, but the Red Sox have reduced his activity after his setback, McCaffrey reports.
Schwarber still could return sometime in the next week or two, according to McCaffrey, but groin tightness is an unfortunate development for Boston's top trade deadline acquisition.
The 28-year-old hit 25 home runs in his first 72 games with the Nationals prior to his injury and could add serious left-handed pop to Boston's lineup, especially if he can play first base and replace the struggling Bobby Dalbec.
As long as Schwarber is sidelined, though, the Red Sox can only watch as their American League East competitors get contributions from their own trade deadline pickups in Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo (New York Yankees), Nelson Cruz (Tampa Bay Rays) and Jose Berrios (Toronto Blue Jays).
While Rizzo tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday and will be sidelined for a minimum of 10 days, he and Gallo have combined to hit four home runs and nine RBIs in their first nine games for the Yankees, who trail the second-place Red Sox by just 2.5 games in the division.
Meanwhile, Cruz has four home runs through his first 12 games with Tampa Bay, which has a three-game lead on Boston atop the AL East.