In favor of Disabled Dustin


In favor of Disabled Dustin

I don't know who we have to thank for Dustin Pedroia's upcoming stay on the disabled list. I don't know who we have to blame for it taking so long in the first place. But I'll unashamedly thank God Shamgod for finally making it happen.

Maybe it's screwed up to celebrate one of your best players making a trip to the DL, but this was a long time coming with Pedroia. We all commend his effort. We all respect his willingness to play through all sorts of pain. We all wish there was an entire team of guys who loved the game as much as the Sox de facto Captain. (Sorry, Papi. Please don't get angry).

That being said, it's enough with the thumb. He should have gone on the DL when he injured it originally. He should have gone on the DL when he re-aggravated it a few weeks later. Yeah, I know. The Sox said that the re-aggravation was unrelated, that it was more of just a scare. Just like they claim that the latest incident had nothing to do with the original injury; that this time it was a different part of his thumb.

Right. So you're saying Pedroia has three separate, unrelated injuries on one thumb?

That's ridiculous. No one believes that.

But fortunately, the Sox have come to their senses and realized one or all three of the following things . . .

1. The thumb isn't getting better.

2. It's utterly pointless to let Pedroia have a say in whether he's healthy enough to play. You might as well save your breath and put him in the line-up.

3. Injured Dustin Pedroia isn't as good as healthy Dustin Pedroia. In other words, it hurts a lot more to take the AL Rookie of the Year and MVP out of the lineup than it does to lose a guy who's hitting .210 with a .282 OBP in the 26 games since he got hurt.

. . . because they're finally sending Pedroia to the DL. And obviously, that sucks. You hate losing him in the line-up, on the field and in the clubhouse especially for this Yankees series but there's no other choice. You either keep him around, and let the thumb haunt the rest of his season, or give some rest so he's ready for the long haul.

By acting now, the Sox can put Pedroia on the DL retroactive to Wednesday, which means he'd be eligible to come back on July 19. Factoring in the conveniently timed All-Star break, and that's only nine more games without their starting second baseman. Not ideal, but if that's what it takes to rescue Pedroia from mediocrity, then it's well worth it.

If he comes back and the thumb's still a pain in the ass? Well, then at least you tried. At least you don't have to listen to assholes like me spew out medical advice from a desk he found on the side of the road.

So, that's that. It looks like Dustin Pedroia is heading to the DL. You hate to see it happen, but you know it had to. Even if it was a month too late.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Three things we learned from the Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Twins


Three things we learned from the Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Twins

Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Minnesota Twins . . .

1) David Price isn’t having fun

Boston’s $217 million-dollar arm had another rough outing -- this time against a team that already has 60 losses.

Those are the team’s he’s supposed to dominate.

“It’s been terrible,” Price said on how his season has gone following the loss. “Just awful.”

Price’s mistakes have often been credited to mechanical mishaps this year. Farrell mentioned that following his start in New York, Price spent time working on getting more of a downhill trajectory on his pitches.

But Price doesn’t think his issue is physical.

So it must be mental -- but he doesn’t feel that’s the case either.

“Honestly I don’t think it’s either one of those,” Price said when asked which he thought was a factor. “It’s me going out there and making pitches. “

But when it comes down to the barebones, pitching -- much like anything else -- is a physical and mental act.

So when he says it’s neither, that’s almost impossible. It could be both, but it has to be one.

His mind could be racing out on the mound from a manifestation of the issues he’s had throughout the season.

Or it could just be that his fastball isn’t changing planes consistently, like Farrell mentioned.

Both could be possible too, but it takes a certain type of physical approach and mental approach to pitch -- and Price needs to figure out which one is the issue, or how to address both. 

2) Sandy Leon might be coming back to Earth

Over his last five games, Boston’s new leading catcher is hitting .176 (3-for-17), dropping his average to .395.

A couple things have to be understood. His average is still impressive. In the five games prior to this dry spell, Leon went 7-for-19 (.368) But -- much like Jackie Bradley Jr. -- Leon hasn’t been known for his offensive output throughout his career. So dry spells are always tests of how he can respond to adversity and make necessary adjustments quickly.

Furthermore, if he’s not so much falling into a funk as opposed to becoming the real Sandy Leon -- what is Boston getting?

Is his run going to be remembered as an exciting run that lasted much longer than anyone expected? Or if he going to show he’s a legitimate hitter that can hit at least -.260 to .280 with a little pop from the bottom of the line-up?

What’s more, if he turns back into the Sandy Leon he’s been throughout his career, the Red Sox will have an interesting dilemma on how to handle the catching situation once again.

3) Heath Hembree has lost the momentum he gained after being called up.

Following Saturday’s contest, the right-hander was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after an outing where he went 1/3 of an inning, giving up a run on three hits -- and allowing some inherited runners to score.

Hembree at one point was the savior of the bullpen, stretching his arm out over three innings at a time to bail out the scuffling Red Sox starting rotation that abused it’s bullpen.

His ERA is still only 2.41 -- and this has been the most he’s ever pitched that big league level -- but the Red Sox have seen a change in him since the All-Star break.

Which makes sense, given that hitters have seven hits and two walks against him in his 1.1 innings of work -- spanning four games since the break.

“He’s not confident pitcher right now,” John Farrell said about Hembree before announcing his demotion. “As good as Heath has been for the vast majority of this year -- and really in the whole first half -- the four times out since the break have been the other side of that.”

Joe Kelly will be the pitcher to replace Hembree and Farrell hopes to be able to stretch him out over multiple innings at a time, as well.

Quotes, notes and stars: Price says season has been "terrible"

Quotes, notes and stars: Price says season has been "terrible"

Quotes, notes and stars from the Boston Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Minnesota Twins:


* “It’s been terrible . . . Just awful.” Price on how his season has gone.

* “Tough night from the mound -- obviously.” John Farrell on Red Sox pitching in the loss.

* “Honestly I don’t think it’s either one of those. It’s me going out there and making pitches. It’s what I’ve done for a long time now -- and I haven’t done this year. That’s why this year’s been the way it has been.” Price said when he was asked if he felt his problems boiled down to physical or mental issues.

* “Given that [we] had to stay away from [Matt] Barnes and [Junichi] Tazawa today, [Clay Buchholz] was a guy that was going to be needed to hopefully multiple inning to bridge us to where were able to match up a little bit more in the eighth inning to get to Ziegler. Unfortunately it didn’t happen.” Farrell said on why he turned to Buchholz -- not Barnes – despite having the lead.

* “It was crazy. When the fly ball [went] into the sky it turned into like a twister of some sort and you didn’t know where the ball was going to fall. I’ve never seen anything like that before.” Michael Martinez on dealing with the howling wind in right field.

* “It wasn’t much wind. I went and looked at it, definitely should have made the play. Just running at it full speed -- it was one of those things I didn’t know how close I was getting to the wall so I went into a slide. And it was an early slide, so it kind of threw me off a little bit . . . Just thought I was closer to the wall than I really was.” Brock Holt on the fly ball he misplayed.


* Jackie Bradley Jr. knocked in two runs, becoming the fourth Red Sox hitter to reach the 60 RBI mark this season -- the most in the MLB. Bradley also had a double, marking is 46th extra-base hit of the season -- with 99 hits overall.

* Dustin Pedroia reached base for the 26th consecutive game with his double in the second inning. He has a .402 OBP during this stretch and a .311 average.

* The Red Sox have lost consecutive games for the first time in nearly a month (6/26-27). Both losses were comeback victories for Minnesota. Boston’s record drops to 3-3 against the 37-60 Twins this season.


1) Eddie Rosario

Rosario finished 4-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored, bumping his average from .244 to .262.

2) David Ortiz

Ortiz finished 3-for-3 with a walk, double, two RBI and two runs scored -- giving Boston just about as much offense as anyone can hope for.

3) Miguel Sano

The burly Twins third baseman finished 3-for-5 with a long ball, two runs scored, a walk and an RBI in Minnesota’s win.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar