The second baseman took a chance on playing through a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb, hoping he wouldn’t re-aggravate the injury — or worsen it — after missing six games.
That decision may haunt him. In the seventh inning of Tuesday’s 7-5 win over the Marlins, Pedroia was jammed with a fastball from Miami reliever Ryan Webb in the middle of his at-bat. Afterward, Pedroia shook his hand as he strolled into the dugout. While Pedroia was unavailable for comment in the clubhouse, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine relayed the infielder’s thoughts to reporters.
“[Pedroia] said — this is thirdhand — that he was more fearful than he was injured,” Valentine said. “The ball was an inside pitch that pushed the bat back in his hand the way he didn’t want it to. He pushed back. It was about 95 mph. And he thought it might have been a reoccurrence. We’ll see how it is [on Wednesday].”
Since returning from his brief hiatus, Pedroia has sported a customized splint to protect his thumb. That splint — in addition to finding his timing at the plate again — initially impacted his performance as he experienced an 8-for-56 slump.
The team’s medical team will continue to monitor Pedroia’s thumb, but shortstop Mike Aviles doesn’t anticipate that Pedroia will miss serious time. The second baseman has a penchant for playing through pain –– like in 2007 with a hamate bone injury.
“He’s a different breed,” Aviles said of Pedroia. “When you see him come out it’s not really that big of a deal because he’s the kind of guy that he’ll be over here and you’ve got to fight him to not let him play. That’s just the way he is. Whenever he comes out, the first question is. ‘Are you all right?’ And he’s, ‘I’m fine, I’m fine, I’ll be here tomorrow.'”
Before being replaced by Nick Punto to start the eighth inning, Pedroia went 1-for-3 with a double.