June 26, 2010 - San Francisco, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02225558 Boston Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia watches the game on his crutches from the dugout against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California, USA, 26 June 2010. Pedroia injured his foot during Friday nights game against the Giants.

Kevin Youkilis left last night’s game in the 4th inning with an ankle injury. At the moment, it appears he’ll be fine — the word out of Fenway is that he’ll be in the lineup tonight. Still, the sight of Youk leaving the game yesterday must have caused remotes across New England to be flung in exasperated disgust as the injury bug appeared to claim another key player on this 2010 Red Sox team.

In recounting the injuries that have plagued the club this year, it occurs to me that we could field a fairly talented club solely from our DL. In order to find out exactly how good, I decided to draw up a lineup (nine offensive positions, two starters, a setup man, and a closer) and see how well it would stack up given their projected 2010 WAR (I’m using CHONE projections for batters because they’re the easiest to find, but the estimates shouldn’t be too far afield; for pitchers it’s a bit tricky, but I’ll resort to using fangraphs.com’s fan projections — imperfect, but close enough). This is obviously a thought experiment more than anything else, but it’s interesting to see exactly how much talent the Sox have lost so far this season.

C: Jason Varitek (2010 Projected WAR: 1.1)
1B: Victor Martinez (4.5)
2B: Dustin Pedroia (4.7)
3B: Mike Lowell (2.2)
SS: Jed Lowrie (1.4)
LF: Jacoby Ellsbury (3.7)
CF: Mike Cameron (1.9)
RF: Ryan Westmoreland (–)*
DH: Jeremy Hermida (1.3)

P: Josh Beckett (4.7)
P: Clay Buchholz (2.5)
P: Manny Delcarmen (0.4)

That’s a total of 28.4 Wins Above Replacement… sitting on the DL. The above is a team I’d have no problem trotting out for a short series (obviously we’d need a few more pitchers, but the core is there). Yet despite missing that much talent, the Sox still sit at 3.5 games back in the division. If they were able to pull off a postseason berth this year, it would be nothing short of an amazing feat; as some players (Beckett, Buchholz, Ellsbury) appear to be on the mend, all the current team needs to do is tread water. That they’ve held on and even gained ground through this is stunning; let’s hope they can now finish the job.

* – Westmoreland is on the inactive list rather than the DL, and obviously would have been far from MLB time as it were. However, without resorting to assuming a Drew DL stint, he was the best available.