Red Sox lineup: Dustin Pedroia sitting yet again

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 21: Dustin Pedroia
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 21: Dustin Pedroia /

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will sit on Friday for the fourth time in five days.

Dustin Pedroia returned from the disabled list on Tuesday. As expected, he occupied the DH spot in the lineup to re-acclimate his knees to playing time and keep both Eduardo Nunez and Rafael Devers in the lineup. John Farrell had suggested that Pedroia might play the field on Wednesday, but instead, Pedroia found himself on the bench during the Red Sox’ series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Two days later, including an off-day for the club, and the veteran second baseman still isn’t back in the lineup. Ahead of Friday’s series opener against the New York Yankees, whom the Red Sox hold a 4.5 game lead over, Pedroia’s absence remains constant. In his place, Nunez will make another start at second base. Since coming to Boston from San Francisco, he’s been the team’s undoubted spark plug, batting .420/.442/.780 with four home runs, 12 RBIs, and three steals.

If it were three weeks ago, losing Pedroia for such an extended period of time would be hard to overcome. Thankfully, the addition of Nunez has paid dividends and re-ignited a Red Sox offense that has looked apathetic at best for most of the season. Nevertheless, it remains worrisome that Pedroia has been out of the lineup for the past two weeks essentially, having played in just one of the four days he’s been eligible since coming off the DL.

Knee issues have been a constant for the most part of his career, so it’s not necessarily a shock that he’s struggling to play on them. What is surprising is how quickly he’s returned to the roster, despite evidence that he’s not ready. According to Chad Jennings of the Boston Herald, Farrell said that the injury is due to workload and not one incident. Why is it then that two plus weeks of rest haven’t been enough?

First pitch at Yankee Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 pm.

Boston Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez

  1. Eduardo Nunez, 2B
  2. Mookie Betts, RF
  3. Andrew Benintendi, LF
  4. Hanley Ramirez, 1B
  5. Chris Young, DH
  6. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  7. Rafael Devers, 3B
  8. Christian Vazquez, C
  9. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

New York Yankees: LHP Jaime Garcia

  1. Aaron Hicks, LF
  2. Gary Sanchez, DH
  3. Aaron Judge, RF
  4. Did Gregorius SS
  5. Todd Frazier, 3B
  6. Garrett Cooper, 1B
  7. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  8. Ronald Torreyes, 2B
  9. Austin Romine, C

Next: Red Sox look to expand their lead over the Yankees

The broadcasting networks will try to hype this weekend series up as another installment of the rivalry and for the first time in years, they may be right. The two clubs haven’t been good at the same time in years, but with just under two months to go in the regular season, they’re locked in a dead race for the American League East.