Red Sox notebook: Dustin Pedroia’s return delayed due to wet conditions
Yesterday was supposed to be Dustin Pedroia’s return to the Red Sox lineup, but on a soggy night at Fenway Park, the team decided to take no chances.
Five days after being spiked in Baltimore, Pedroia felt enough lingering pain in his left knee that he was again relegated to the bench. He’d been in the preliminary lineup before Tuesday’s rainout, but his return will have to wait.
“After some work he did (Tuesday) here before the game — or the would-be game — felt like there was still some lingering symptoms there,” manager John Farrell said. “I will be honest with you, with the wet grounds tonight, I wasn’t going to take any further risk for potential misfooting to put him at risk further. He’s day-to-day and hope he will be back in the lineup (tonight).”
Pedroia injured his knee and ankle when Manny Machado slid into him at second base at Camden Yards on Friday. The incident set in motion a tense animosity between the two teams, but Pedroia insisted he took no offense to the slide itself. He just happened to be hurt on the play.
On Tuesday, he declared himself “a little bit” better.
“When Dr. (Peter) Asnis examined him, felt like there was still some strong stability in the knee,” Farrell said. “Recognizing there was still some swelling in the ankle and somewhat around the knee area. Given the impact that took place, we didn’t think this was going to be completely gone in a matter of two or three days either.”
Utility man Marco Hernandez started at second in Pedroia’s place, while Josh Rutledge made his season debut at third. Rutledge was rushed off the disabled list after Pablo Sandoval went on the disabled list earlier this week.
Rutledge went 0-for-4 in the Sox’ 3-1 loss, but nearly hit a game-winning home run off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth.
“Timing is an issue, so you’ve got to do more stuff to stay on top of it, especially in the cages and stuff like that,” Rutledge said. “If you’re not ready for one of these games, your adrenaline is going to be going every day. That definitely helps.”
Barnes serves time
One other lingering impact of Machado’s slide into Pedroia’s leg is the four-game suspension given to reliever Matt Barnes, who very nearly hit Machado in the head on Sunday in apparent retaliation.
Initially, Barnes appealed the suspension, but the appeal was dropped yesterday so that Barnes could begin serving his time.
“I think there’s a long precedent with pitches in that area that this is typically what’s handed down,” Farrell said.
No glove in sight
Although initial plans were to have Hanley Ramirez play first base against lefties, that idea seems to be out the window for at least the time being. Soreness in his shoulders has kept Ramirez from doing routine fielding drills.
“Requires maintenance,” Farrell said. “But something that is not new to him or anything that is advanced further.”
An early plan was for Ramirez to play the field within the first seven games of the season. Is there any target date for Ramirez to play first base at this point?
“Not right now,” Farrell said.
Ramirez’ status basically makes Mitch Moreland the everyday first baseman.
Arms rehab update
Another day, another incremental update on the rehab of David Price. He threw a light bullpen yesterday and remains on track to face hitters this weekend. That will be his most significant step since his elbow injury in spring training.
“Threw the ball well,” Farrell said. “A normal bullpen that would be in between starts type of bullpen.”
Reliever Tyler Thornburg remains in a long-toss program to build shoulder strength after his own spring training injury. He’s stretched out to 120 feet and has yet to throw off a mound.
“We’re hopeful to get him to at least 150 feet before we would introduce the mound,” Farrell said. “I think even by his own account this has taken longer than he even anticipated. He’s in that long toss phase and he will be on the mound as soon as first available.”
Today’s series finale between the Sox and Yankees features a high-end pitching matchup between No.?1 starters Chris Sale and Masahiro Tanaka. Sale has a 1.17 ERA in 10 career games against the Yankees. “It’s a great matchup,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Chris Sale has been extremely tough on us.”