Pedroia Wrist Injury Weakens Already-Shaky Red Sox

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 29: Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox lies on the ground after colliding with Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox at first base during the first inning on May 29, 2017 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

The Boston Red Sox offense, not long ago considered a formidable unit, suffered a considerable blow on Tuesday. Dustin Pedroia, the team’s redoubtable second baseman, has been placed on the disabled list with a sprained left wrist. He suffered the injury on Monday after colliding with Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox, and went for an MRI the next day.

While the scans came back clean and team president Dave Dombrowski seemed confident that Pedroia would only miss the minimum 10 days, things are not quite that certain. Pedroia had surgery on that same wrist in 2014, and the veteran infielder seemed less willing than his boss to commit to a timetable.

Pedroia Wrist Injury Weakens Already-Shaky Red Sox

Prior to his injury, Pedroia had put up a respectable .292 batting average, but wasn’t doing much else offensively. He owns a weak .503 OPS, 21 RBI, and just two home runs. He’s provided his usual stellar defense, but his bat left something to be desired. The guy stepping in to his spot will be utility man Josh Rutledge, who had been seeing a lot of time at third base. Rutledge isn’t in Pedey’s league with the glove, but he can hit. His average mirror’s Pedroia’s, and he carries a .662 OPS.

However, the Red Sox and their very average offense would undoubtedly prefer to have Rutledge doing his hitting while also playing third. Rutledge was a bit of a defensive liability at the hot corner, but the two other options aren’t much better. Pablo Sandoval, recently returned from a knee sprain, and Deven Marrero are no defensive wizards themselves, and neither offers anything at the plate worth writing about.

One would have to think, if Pedroia is forced to sit out longer than anticipated, that the Red Sox will consider promoting top prospect Rafael Devers, who’s been mashing down on the farm. In the meantime, Pedroia’s injury has at least highlighted Boston’s severe lack of infield depth. A trade to rectify that in the near future would not come as a surprise.

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