Temporary Replacements For Dustin Pedroia
A recent MRI for Dustin Pedroia has revealed that the second baseman has a torn abductor muscle in his right thumb. This is the same injury that Kevin Youkilis had when he had season ending surgery in 2010, but allegedly much less severe. Pedroia, in his typical fashion, is doing all he can to stay on the field– he is wearing a brace on his thumb, and is trying to play through the injury. However, it’s unlikely that: A. he can play through the injury and B. that Bobby Valentine will let him. So, the Red Sox will probably be looking at some potential replacements for him, and I will be doing the same right here.
Nick Punto– This is the easiest option, as Punto is already on the 25-man roster and Pedroia would not even have to go to the DL. However, it certainly isn’t the best option as Punto has struggled, to say the least, at the plate this year. Punto has never been known for his bat, but his .140 (6-43) batting average to date is just out of hand. He has reached base at a solid .283 clip, but that batting average is not nearly high enough for him to be an everyday option at second. If having Punto as an automatic out in the bottom of the lineup is a regular occurrence, the Red Sox are better off putting Dustin Pedroia on the DL and heading to Pawtucket.
Pedro Ciriaco– You may remember the name “Pedro Ciriaco” from Spring Training this year, when he put up a ridiculous .419/.444/.651 line in 26 games for the Red Sox. Ciriaco reported back to triple-A Pawtucket after that wild ride and has settled in as their everyday second baseman. He has hit pretty well this year, to the tune of a .304 batting average, 2 home runs, and 14 RBIs here in 2012. He would also add a bit of speed to the Red Sox’ lineup as he has stolen seven bases in Pawtucket. Unfortunately, Ciriaco is not on the Red Sox’ 40-man roster, so it would be difficult to bring him up.
Nate Spears– My next option would be to bring up the versatile Nate Spears. Spears primarily has played third base since Will Middlebrooks‘ promotion, but he can play anywhere on the diamond, so I’m sure that second base would not be out of his comfort zone. He has hit fairly well at Pawtucket this year, with a .259 batting average to go with 4 home runs and 16 RBIs– making up an impressive .446 slugging percentage. However, in his brief stints in the majors in both 2011 and 2012 have not resulted in much success as he is 0-8. Like Ciriaco, though, he is also not on the 40-man roster and is probably not worth a roster move.
Jose Iglesias– This is probably my favorite option among what the Red Sox could do to replace Pedroia. The 22 year old shortstop is widely viewed as the Red Sox’ shortstop of the future. He is a defensive wizard, but has not quite found himself with the bat to start his professional career. This year, however, he’s been alright at Pawtucket– batting at .269 with a home run and 14 RBIs, plus 8 steals. The question with Iglesias is, would a sub-par average be worth outstanding defense? And as a backup infielder, it probably would as the Red Sox could start Iglesias at shortstop and move Mike Aviles to second base. Iglesias is on the Red Sox 40-man roster, and I would not be too surprised if they made this move before long.