The Boston Red Sox have placed second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the 15-day disabled list for the second time this season with a strained right hamstring.
Pedroia missed 16 games with the injury prior to the All-Star break, but was re-activated to start the second half of the season. He was a mere 1-for-22 at the plate in 6 games since his return and had been out of the lineup for the team’s last two games.
Manager John Farrell explained that the team had felt that the three weeks he had been shut down before would be sufficient time for Pedroia’s hamstring to recover, but he appears to have re-aggravated the injury.
"“The play in-game obviously built back up on him to the point of aggravation,” Farrell told reporters prior to Saturday’s game against the Detroit Tigers. “Can’t say there was a singular event that caused what he’s feeling. As he was going at it each and every day, the symptoms continued to persist and after the further imaging and further consultation between the medical staff, it was determined the best course of action was putting him on the DL.”"
This may suggest that Pedroia returned too soon. He pushed himself too much to get back on the field to help save his struggling team, but his persistence may have worked to the team’s detriment.
"“Pedey wanted to get back on the field, as we all know, when he was first available,” said Farrell. “Pedey was part of the process along the way, but more than anything, it was determined he wasn’t going to risk further injury, not that the injury has intensified, it’s still persisting. He needs some down time.”"
It remains unclear how long Pedroia will be sidelined this time, but with this season quickly spiraling down the drain, you can be sure they won’t allow him to rush this time.
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The Red Sox have recalled pitcher Steven Wright to take his place on the roster, but Farrell indicated that the team will need to bring up another middle infielder at some point. Brock Holt is starting at second base on Saturday and should see the bulk of the playing time there while Pedroia is out of action, but the team’s depth up the middle of their infield is limited.
Deven Marrero would seem to be a logical choice to rejoin the roster in the near future. He was sent back to Triple-A earlier this week when the Red Sox activated Daniel Nava from the disabled list. Marrero played sparingly during his brief stint in Boston, appearing in 5 games and going 1-for-7 at the plate. He recorded his first major league hit in his last plate appearance on July 20.
Pedroia has been having a great season when he has been on the field, slashing .287/.348/.426 with 9 home runs and 34 RBI in 75 games. This marks the second straight season where Pedroia will miss significant time due to injury. As anxious as he must be to return, Pedroia must resist the temptation to rush back to quickly or he may find himself back in the same cycle again.