Dustin Pedroia: ‘I’ll Play on Tuesday’

Dustin Pedroia: 'I'll Play on Tuesday' All Dustin Pedroia wanted to do in his first rehab start with Pawtucket was put the ball in play. Not belt a home run or rope a double, just put bat on ball.

The second baseman did more than that, finishing 1-for-3 with a single, run scored and walk on Saturday. It’s not a three-homer night, but it still had Pedroia excited.

"It felt good," Pedroia, who has been out with a broken foot for seven weeks, told MLB.com. "It's been a while since I played. Later in the game I was a little tired, but overall I felt fine. It's the most I've done since I got hurt, so I'm pretty excited about it."

Starting at second base, Pedroia also had four chances sent his way, and he handled them all without problem. Two ground balls and two pop ups came and went into the glove of Pedroia, who didn’t feel as if the game was moving too quickly.

"I felt like I was fine," he said. "I got into the rhythm of the game."

With his second and final rehab start in Pawtucket on Sunday as a designated hitter, Pedroia expects to be in Boston on Tuesday.

"Everything's on schedule," he said. "I'll DH tomorrow, and have a day off. Then I'll play on Tuesday."

Jacoby Ellsbury is back on the 15-day disabled list, and he may not be back with the Red Sox for the remainder of the season.

After colliding with Rangers pitcher Tommy Hunter at first base on Friday, Ellsbury tweaked his nagging rib injury and was re-evaluated. After a CT scan in Boston on Saturday showed some edema in the soft tissue, indicating potential further injury, Ellsbury was placed back on the DL.

"It was pretty obvious to me he was hurting," Francona told MLB.com after Friday night’s game. "He didn't want to come out. I'm glad I took him out now. Obviously he was hurt. If he had gotten hurt worse, I mean, that doesn't help anybody."

The center fielder missed 95 games between two separate DL stints so far, and he may miss the final 44 games, as well. Darnell McDonald, Eric Patterson and Ryan Kalish are all options to replace Ellsbury in center field for the time being.

Since also breaking his foot, Jason Varitek has been said to be seven to 10 days behind Dustin Pedroia. That still seems to be the case.

A week after Pedroia was running sprints for the training staff, Varitek was doing the same in the Texas heat on Friday for trainer Mike Reinold, the Boston Globe reports.

Varitek has been able to develop a good deal of speed, but he has trouble slowing down, which also ailed Pedroia. He remains 7-10 days behind the Red Sox second baseman, meaning Varitek should be back when the team travels to Tampa Bay.

Hideki Okajima, who was placed on the 15-day DL on Tuesday with a hamstring strain, will throw bullpen sessions on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, before being re-evaluated. The reliever has a 5.85 ERA in 40 games this season.

Mike Cameron’s status remains unknown. His most recent time on the DL will officially end on Tuesday, but his recurring abdominal strain has given him problems all season. Whether Francona decides to take him off the DL or chooses to let the 37-year-old center field to rehab more has yet to be announced.