The Boston Red Sox are going to have to find a way to win without Dustin Pedroia, their most reliable hitter of late. Perhaps for a while.
The All-Star second baseman was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a broken left foot and it's unclear how long he might be sidelined or whether he could need surgery. He said inserting a pin into the foot is an option to help him heal more quickly, but Pedroia will know more after he is examined by team doctors back home on Monday.
"In the past I've healed pretty quick," Pedroia said. "I hope I do the same this time."
The 2008 AL MVP fouled a ball off his foot during Friday night's 5-4 loss to San Francisco and was removed from the game in the third inning after staying in to finish his plate appearance with a walk. Red Sox manager Terry Francona said tests Saturday revealed a non-displaced fracture in the middle of Pedroia's left foot - the navicular bone - despite an initial result of negative X-rays late Friday.
"There's nothing we can do. The level of my disappointment is not going to make him heal quicker," Francona said. "He came in here today and asked who was going to play second. I've never seen a kid care as much about a team. He's as legit a player and a person as they come."
The injury is a major blow to the Red Sox, who began the day three games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East. Pedroia joins Josh Beckett, Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Lowell and Jeremy Hermida on Boston's disabled list.
Pedroia was on crutches Saturday and wearing a walking boot. Francona knew the injury could be more serious just because Pedroia was unable to put pressure on the foot late Friday. The manager said the Red Sox sent scans of his foot to their team doctors, and the two-time All-Star will be examined by orthopedist Dr. George Theodore on Monday.
"I don't know that we have a parameter yet," Francona said, acknowledging surgery could be necessary. "When we know the severity of it, then we'll have some parameters. I think anybody that's been around Dustin would bet on him being quicker than anybody humanly possible healing. But they don't know the extent of it yet."
Pedroia hit a career-high three home runs Thursday night, including a tiebreaking shot in the 10th inning, and went 5 for 5 with five RBIs in a 13-11 victory at Colorado.
He's not used to missing an extended period of time. This will be the first stint on the DL in the big leagues for the 26-year-old former AL Rookie of the Year, who was rewarded by the Red Sox with a $40.5 million, six-year contract before the 2009 season.
"I'm just going to try to be positive for all the guys," Pedroia said. "They know how I play the game. I'll be in the dugout trying to see things on the field to help us win. I don't know, I've never really done this before."
Pedroia had hit safely in 12 of his last 14 games since June 10, batting .491 (26 for 53) with four home runs during that stretch. He also was hitting .374 in June after a .213 May.
"That part's tough," Pedroia said. "Freak accidents happen. We'll wait for everybody to get back healthy and we'll take off. We've got a lot of really good players. Hopefully we'll be fine."
Bill Hall was in the starting lineup at second base Saturday against the Giants. Boston also called up infielder Angel Sanchez from Triple-A Pawtucket.
Francona said he will make out his lineup largely based on matchups and who might need rest at other positions.
"Some of this is going to depend on health and how our outfielders are doing," Francona said.
Also on Saturday, Beckett threw a simulated game of about 70 total pitches, including warmup tosses. The right-hander is on the 15-day disabled list after straining his lower back on a slippery mound in Yankee Stadium on May 18. The next step could be facing hitters as soon as Thursday.
"He did really well," Francona said. "They were really pleased."
This program aired on June 27, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.