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Dustin Pedroia has a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb, Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said Tuesday night, and for the time being, the second baseman has not been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
But while Pedroia remained hopeful that a trip to the DL could be avoided, he acknowledged that if he is unable to hit with a protective device for the thumb, he probably will be out for "three or four weeks."
"Right now we're waiting to see how I feel the next couple of days," Pedroia said. "My swelling has gone down, the bruising in my thumb has gone down, so we'll just wait and see if I can play."
The adductor muscle runs from the thumb to the palm of the hand and controls the inward movement of the thumb toward the palm, obviously essential to a player's ability to grip a bat.
ESPNBoston | Dustin Pedroia to try thumb brace
These kinds of diagnoses are always kind of strange to me. It's either a day or two...or a month.
Being without Dustin that long is terrifying to me. I would preach cautiousness on this one, though. Yes, we're severely undermanned right now. But we're going to need Pedroia later on in the year if we're going to be contenders, so we can't be rushing him back. Obviously, he'd be the type to play through anything, so I'm hoping the doctors keep that in mind when they are diagnosing him.
A month without Pedroia would mean one of two things: Nick Punto playing every day for a month, or calling up Jose Iglesias and sliding Mike Aviles to 2B. Given that I'm a major fanboy of Iglesias, I hope the latter would be the case, although Aviles has played well, and I'd hate for him to think of it as a demotion. On the other hand, he'd probably have to hit higher in the lineup should Pedroia miss time, so maybe that would take some sting out of it.
Anyway, this is all speculation. Hopefully a couple days' rest will do the trick -- but we should be prepared for him to miss time.
On page 2, more about the video clip above, and how Daniel Bard is ready to stretch it out.
Bard would like to be going deeper into games, though.
“I understand [manager] Bobby [Valentine] being conservative with me the last couple because the walks have been an issue coming into this one and I see where his mind’s at,” Bard said. “I just wanted him to know that I want to be out there and be going six, seven innings a start. I’m not satisfied with this 5 1/3 stuff. It’s kind of weird.
"My last two outings I’ve been pulled at 5 1/3 after a strikeout with the bases empty. And with a pitch count that’s pretty reasonable both times in the low 90s, so I get where he’s coming from and typically I have struggled as I get deeper in the game. But I just told him, I made it clear as respectfully as I could that I’m ready to start finishing those innings. I don’t need to be treated like a kid anymore. He said 'alright I want you to finish those innings', so I think we’re on the same page.”
I love hearing this from Bard.
But I also don't criticize Bobby V for the way he's handled Bard. I think there's something to be sad for stretching guys out slowly. It's not that I don't think his arm could handle it -- it's more psychological.
If he leaves Bard out there as long as possible every single night, more often than not Bobby V will be walking out to the mound with Bard exhausted and with men on base. When he's more selective, Bobby's able to let Bard leave on a high note -- such as after last night's strikeout. I think there's something to this philosophy.
But the important thing is that Bard wants to go deep into games, and that's an important characteristic in a starting pitcher. Too many guys nowadays (in my day, pitchers pitched both ends of a doubleheader, uphill, both ways -- and they liked it) think their job is over if they've gone six innings. That's not enough to me. I want at least seven innings out of a starter. I'm all about Nolan Ryan's redefinition of a quality start (7 IP, 3 R instead of 6 IP, 3 R) idea. Get the pitchers to think longer, then you won't be so reliant on your bullpen, who by definition are guys who couldn't hack it as starters.
ESPNBoston | Red Sox beat Justin Verlander to move above .500 | Red Sox catch up to Justin Verlander | R.I. governor dismisses Schilling accusations | CSNNE | Nava wins game changing duel with Verlander | Red Sox get over .500 mark for first time, beat Tigers 6-3 | Crawford getting closer to throwing | Globe | Notch above | Pedroia's thumb injury poses a real dilemma | Crawford still at arm's length | Herald | Daniel Nava's double sends Sox over .500 | Dustin Pedroia wants back in | Daniel Bard wins again, wants to shed kid gloves | Umps make good call | Time to sit Pedroia down