The injury woes that have plagued the Boston Red Sox just continue to get worse. Yesterday during, in the fifth inning of the Red Sox 7-4 win over the Detroit Tigers, second baseman Dustin Pedroia made one of his trademark diving plays to prevent a single and jammed his thumb. Pedroia was removed from the game for the sixth because of the jam and he is currently undergoing examinations to determine the extent of the injury. Manager Bobby Valentine and GM Ben Cherington do not believe the injury is serious and expect the All-Star and former MVP to miss just a few games as the swelling goes down.
The Red Sox have been dramatically victimized by injuries this season. Left fielder Carl Crawford and newly acquired closer Andrew Bailey have yet to play a game for the team during the regular season thanks to injury. Centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury has been out since April 13, after suffering from a dislocated shoulder. Pitcher Aaron Cook made one start and was injured in a spiking on a play at the plate. Outfielder Cody Ross is out for six to eight weeks with a broken bone in his foot and both Kevin Youkilis and Ryan Sweeney have missed time with injuries this year. Yet for all of these issues, the team is now back at .500 and just 4.5 games out of first in the AL East. However, nothing would hurt Boston more than losing Dustin Pedroia.
Pedroia is commonly referred to as being the heart and soul of the Red Sox and there is little exaggeration in that. He is one of the truly elite defensive players at the keystone and a consistently excellent hitter. Bostonhas few options available to them if Pedroia does miss an extended period of time. Nick Punto will likely see the majority of playing time at second base should Pedroia just miss a few games, but long term the downgrade from Pedroia to Punto is far too great for the Red Sox to make due. ShouldBoston have to deal without their charismatic star for an extended period, the team may need to consider possibilities outside the organization.