Dustin Pedroia To DL–Won’t Play In Key Series Against The Yankees

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s injured right thumb is pointing him to the disabled list, which also takes him out of the lineup for this weekend’s key four-game series against the American League East-leading New York Yankees.

Pedroia injured his thumb (specifically the adductor muscle) while making a diving catch in June but never went on the DL. According to reports, this damage is an entirely different injury but to the same thumb. The torn adductor muscle has apparently already healed based the results of an MRI.

The Boston Herald explains that “This new problem, likely suffered Tuesday night when Pedroia dove for a ball in shallow right field, is in a different area, specifically the back side of the thumb.”

Manager Bobby Valentine addressed the Pedroia injury on WEEI radio:

We’ve had a hand issue with Dustin, and it’s revolved around the thumb for the good part of the month. This is not related to the other injury, but it’s a disabling situation so he’s going to take the 15 days — and four of those days thankfully are All-Star break days — to try to get better and come back to us healthy and ready to go.

Pedroia, according to ESPN, has this to say:

[I’m] Just frustrated. I healed up from the other injury, I was just starting to feel better and swing the bat better. I dive one time and now this. You work so hard in the offseason to prevent an injury and get a couple freak accidents in the same thumb, it stinks.

Pedroia added that the team will “be fine” in his absence. Pedroia, the emotional and on-field leader of the team and one of the hardest-working players in MLB, is a career .300 hitter but is batting only .246 with 6 home runs so far this season. Speculation is that the thumb problem explains at least part of his underperformance.

The Red Sox have been hit with the injury bug again this season. For example, two-thirds of the starting outfield (Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury) are expected to finally rejoin the team this month after completing rehab assignments.

Rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks, whose solid performance forced the Kevin Youkilis to the ChiSox trade, has left hamstring tightness, and is a game-time decision.

The Red Sox are in fourth place in the division, but still very much in the hunt for the Wild Card despite all their issues.

In the absence of Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox called up infielder Pedro Ciriaco from Triple-A Pawtucket to bolster their infield. Utility infielder Nick Punto is expected to start at second base tonight.