Red Sox give Pedroia night off to rest thumb
Second baseman feels fine, expects to play on Thursday
BOSTON -- Dustin Pedroia's thumb situation was just a scare, both he and his manager said, and the Red Sox second baseman expects to be back in the lineup Thursday.
Pedroia said he was available off the bench when Nick Punto started at second Wednesday at Fenway Park. Pedroia was jammed in the seventh inning of Tuesday's 7-5 win against the Marlins and left the game for fear that he had further damaged a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb.
That fear is gone.
"I think it scared me more than anything," Pedroia said after taking grounders Wednesday. "My hand slipped off the bat and my thumb got caught. It was just kind of a weird feeling. I'm not playing today, but I'll be in there tomorrow. I feel fine.
Swelling hasn't been a problem.
"It's kind of a weird deal," he said. "I went to swing and I don't know if it got a little hotter and humid and I didn't have enough pine tar on my bat, so my thumb just got caught in that weird spot."
When Pedroia first came back in early June from the muscle tear, he was using a brace to protect his thumb from impact while hitting. It took him two games to ditch that, but he he's still been going to the plate with protection.
"He's had padding, there was padding last night," manager Bobby Valentine said. "Probably he didn't have padding when [the injury first occurred May 28] so the padding probably helped absorb the shock. "
Pedroia is having a down season offensively, hitting .269 with five homers and 26 RBIs. He had one hit Tuesday, a double, but entered that game with just eight hits in his previous 50 at-bats.
Valentine didn't rule out the possibility that the thumb has been a contributor to the downturn.
"Probably. I don't know, probably," Valentine said. "It's hard to quantify, but probably, yeah. But like he said the other day, when [Jon] Lester was pitching and he makes that play in the first inning, turns a double play on a line drive, he's out there helping the team win a game. Not having the laser show every night, but he's an amazing presence on our team."