Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who suffered a jammed right thumb making a diving catch in the fifth inning of Monday’s 7-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers, was not in the lineup for Tuesday night’s game at Fenway Park.
Nick Punto, who replaced Pedroia in the sixth inning Monday, will start at second and bat in the No. 9 hole.
Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said Pedroia had been nagged by a sore thumb “he jammed about three weeks ago,” but had been dealing with it on his own.
“He started wearing a little protection and I know he took some batting practice using a little bit of a different grip,” Valentine said. “But there wasn’t anything on the medical reports the last couple of weeks.”
Valentine said Pedroia, who was not in the lineup Tuesday “as was expected yesterday,” he said, had undergone an MRI examination.
“There has been an MRI taken and we need time to get those results,” Valentine said.
Approached in the Red Sox clubhouse before the game, Pedroia would only say, “I feel good, I feel good.” He later declined comment when media assembled in front of his locker, saying he was not likely to hear back on his thumb for at least two hours. “I’ll shoot you guys a page,” he said.
The team did not make any roster moves and Valentine said Pedroia was expected to be in uniform Tuesday night.
Valentine also clarified the manner in which Pedroia injured his thumb, saying it was not on the fielding play he made at the end of the fifth inning, but rather on his last at-bat in the fourth when he hit a pop fly to Tigers second baseman Danny Worth.
“It did not happen on that play, as we gathered,” Valentine said. “We looked at the film and we think it might’ve been from the bat jamming in his hand a little. The straw that might’ve broke the camel’s back was the last at-bat, which was an inside fastball, but this might have been a situation he’s been dealing with.”
Asked if Pedroia experienced any weakness in his grip, Valentine said, “It’s weak enough or bruised enough if something reoccurs — or the same situation happens reoccurs — then maybe it can get very serious.”
Asked if the team was still classifying Pedroia’s injury as a “jammed” thumb, Valentine said, “I don’t know how to classify it. We don’t have a diagnosis.”
A gritty player who has played through nagging injuries before in his career, it has taken quite a bit to keep Pedroia out of the lineup. Asked if it was any indication of the severity of his injury, Valentine said, “I’ve gone through a lot of different situations here in the first couple of months and this will be different not having him in the lineup. You know, when he sat down next to me on the bench, I knew that he wasn’t going to go back out on the field. He wanted to, but it was serious enough for him not to want to go back.
“So it’s serious enough, obviously, for him not to be in the lineup tonight — and maybe more than tonight. I’m not sure.”