It’s been a painful start to the season for the Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox not only entered Wednesday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox with a 5-9 record, but Boston also is dealing with several injuries that have forced manager John Farrell to continuously shuffle his lineup.
Below are some injury-related notes before Wednesday’s game at U.S. Cellular Field.
— Dustin Pedroia, who has been dealing with a sore left wrist, returned to the Red Sox’s starting lineup Wednesday. The second baseman sat out Sunday’s series finale against the New York Yankees and didn’t enter Tuesday’s game against the White Sox until the ninth inning — he pinch ran for Mike Napoli after the first baseman dislocated his finger while sliding into second base.
— Napoli wasn’t in Wednesday’s starting lineup because of his dislocated finger. The slugger fielded ground balls during batting practice, and it’s possible he could be used as a late-inning defensive replacement.
Napoli, whose finger was popped back into place Tuesday, still is experiencing some tenderness, but he was optimistic while speaking to reporters before the game. He’s currently listed as day to day.
“It’s feeling better and better as I go,” Napoli said. “I’m going to do as much treatment on it as possible and probably contrast (with heat and ice) every couple of hours. I don’t know, we’ll see, just go day to day to see how I’m feeling that day to see what I can do. Just baby steps, and whatever I can do, I’m going to do to try to help the team.”
Napoli’s injury looked rather gruesome, as his finger was completely bent when Farrell and the team’s trainer went to check on him. The Red Sox realize they likely dodged a bullet.
“I thought we were looking at four weeks,” Farrell said Wednesday. “That was my first thought. I’ve got to say, going out to second base and seeing his ring finger with a hard left turn, we’re fortunate it was only a dislocation.”
Daniel Nava started at first base Wednesday.
— Closer Koji Uehara threw a 34-pitch bullpen session. He’s unavailable Wednesday but is expected to be available for Thursday’s series finale in Chicago.
— Outfielder Shane Victorino, who has yet to play in a regular-season game because of a hamstring strain, likely will begin a rehab assignment Friday or Saturday at Triple-A Pawtucket.
— Third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who is recovering from a calf strain, worked out on the field in Chicago on Wednesday. He could begin a rehab assignment within the next week.