BOSTON -- The Red Sox are taking the cautious approach with Dustin Pedroia and his injured right thumb.The Sox are waiting for the swelling to subside in the torn abductor muscle in his right thumb before they make a decision on the next step. They can either put him on the disabled list or, if the injury is deemed not too severe, they could wait it out in the hope that he would be ready before 15 days are up.Pedroia said he injured the thumb about three weeks ago and exacerbated it in his last at-bat on Monday.In the Sox clubhouse before the third game of the four-game set against the Tigers, Pedroia showed two protective splints he has. One, a hard plastic white cast, is for normal use. The other, a slightly more flexible black cast that is molded to fit a bat, he will use if and when he is able to take swings.Manager Bobby Valentine said Pedroia has not taken any swings yet.We dont want him to, Valentine said. He did yesterday before we told him not to. And he always obeys.The last statement was made facetiously. Valentine knows Pedroia will do everything he can to stay in the lineup.We talked with Dustin his afternoon, Valentine said. Theres an absolute situation thats in place. And then we might start considering options. But were day to day.Part of this situation is the swelling, the actual physical appearance of the injury. And I think we could all see that. And then theres opinions of the medical staff. Then theres Dustins opinion, I guess. And you take everything into consideration.Asked if one party might have more say in the matter than others, Valentine replied:Well, were going to let some higher beings make that decision. And God hasnt returned a phone call yet but Ive been promised He will.But the second basemans current status leaves the Sox short-handed with middle infielders. Nick Punto is in the starting lineup again, batting ninth, playing second base.The Sox options for middle infielders off the bench?Kelly Shoppach came down with a fielders glove the other night and Salty has taken ground balls, Valentine said.How comfortable is the manager with the possibility of either of his catchers playing in the middle of the infield?Warm and fuzzy all over, he said.Kevin Youkilis, who is in the starting lineup at first base tonight, has played four total games in his career at second base, both in 2005. He played two with the Sox for a total of seven innings, getting two chances, with two assists and no errors, and two with Triple-A Pawtucket getting 10 chances, making five putouts with four assists and one error.
This pickup game had slightly more star power than what went on at your local YMCA today.