Will Red Sox' injuries hit critical mass?

For the Red Sox, the beat goes on.

    [Victor] Martinez has a fractured distal phalanx, which is the bone on the tip of his thumb.


    Martinez didn't think he would go on the DL.

    "By the time I got to the dugout, it was starting to get [swollen]. I couldn't put my hand in the glove. It was kind of painful," he said.

    It sounds like that if the swelling goes down, Martinez could catch. But the question then becomes how well he could hit.

    The Sox have catching issues. Mark Wagner and Dusty Brown are on the DL in Pawtucket. The catchers there are Gustavo Molina and Juan Apodaca. Luis Exposito is in Double-A.

    Meanwhile, the injury-riddled Sox are 46-31 and alone in second place in the division.

I don't think we can identify when critical mass has been reached until after the fact. But with Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Dustin Pedroia, and Martinez out, doesn't this seriously impact the Red Sox' chances?

They're currently leading the league on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and (naturally) enough scoring. But will Kevin Youkilis, at 31, continue to enjoy the best season of his career? Will Adrian Beltre, at 31, continue to enjoy his best season (by a lot) since 2004? Can Jon Lester carry the rotation all by himself?

I'm ready to predict, right now, that the Red Sox won't finish ahead of the Yankees. I won't predict that the Red Sox fail to reach the postseason. But if the injury picture doesn't improve significantly between now and the All-Star break, that could change.