BOSTON — Dustin Pedroia has been eager to get back on the field for quite some time. He finally might get his wish Tuesday.
The Boston Red Sox second baseman will meet with the team’s medical staff Tuesday and could start that night’s contest if they give him the go-ahead, interim manager Torey Lovullo said before Monday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
“Everything has got to be all-systems-go,” Lovullo said. “We’re not going to put him in a situation where it’s a maybe. This has got to be 100 percent yes. If we get that verdict from the medical team, he’ll be playing tomorrow.”
The Red Sox second baseman has been on the disabled list since July 25 after re-aggravating a hamstring injury just after MLB’s All-Star break. The initial hope was that Pedroia’s injury only would sideline him a few weeks, but an MRI revealed it needed more strengthening before he hit the field.
Still, it appears Pedroia is back ahead of schedule, as the team had been targeting a Sept. 10 return date for the 32-year-old. He hasn’t played a big-league game since July 22 and obviously will have to shake off some rust, but Lovullo believes his second baseman is up to the task.
“The big question I’ve been getting asked a lot is, ‘Will he be ready? Will he be ready to have quality at-bats?'” Lovullo said. “My answer is yes. He has been taking mental at-bats — I guarantee you — mental at-bats every single day before he goes to sleep, wakes up, comes in. It’s on his mind.
“I know he’s doing everything he can to prepare for clean, productive at-bats. That’s the big concern everybody seems to have, and for me it’s not a big issue.”
Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) during the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.