Pedroia: I'm healthy and 'ready to go'

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Pedroia: I'm healthy and 'ready to go'

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS -- Friday morning was a vivid reminder that while a broken foot caused Dustin Pedroia to miss almost half of last season, there was never any damage to his spirit.

Determined, upbeat and filled with more than a little spunk, Pedroia, in his first day at the Player Development Complex, maintained that the foot had healed completely and he expects no complications.

"I feel great . . . ready to go and I'm and excited to be here," said Pedroia.

Pedroia must still do some maintenance on the foot, but said that won't hold him back from having a normal spring training.

"I pretty much have to do my stuff in the training room to get ready," he said, "but I don't think it will be a problem."

Some Red Sox officials had hinted Pedroia might be rested more once the Grapefruit League scheduled begins, but the second baseman didn't anticipate scaling back his workload.

"I haven't talked to manager Terry Francona about anything like that," Pedroia said, "but I don't think that's necessary. Whatever they have planned for me, I'm ready to do."

Pedroia recently revealed that his winter rehab featured some "ups and downs," but Friday, he downplayed that aspect of his recovery.

"What I was trying to say," he said, "was when you have an injury like this, you try to find ways that make you feel right. There are so many different areas of your foot and I have to get my leg back to normal. Some of the things I was trying to do weren't the right things to do.

"But we found a way to make me feel strong and I feel great right now. It was just trying to get everything working together. If one part of my leg isn't firing, then it's going to affect my foot. But we kind of figured out what the problem was and the last three weeks, I felt great."

Pedroia will be excused from the taxing shuttle run which the team will conduct next week to measure fitness, but other than that, will be cleared for all activity.

"I've already taken ground balls, turned double plays, run the bases -- I've done everything," he said. "I'm ready to go . . . My foot's repaired. There's a screw in there holding everything together. It's a ton better. I feel great. There's not going to be any setbacks or anything like that."

In addition to a foot which is mended, Pedroia returns to a Red Sox team which has been upgraded by free agent signings and trades. Informed that new teammate Carl Crawford told USA Today that he can't wait to play with Pedroia, whom he labeled a "little firecracker," Pedroia said: "What a shocker.

"I worked out with Carl for probably three or four years at API in Arizona when I was there. I'm glad he's on our team. It's a pain in the butt playing against him. He's running wild. It's going to be fun playing with him on our side.

"Everyone's real excited. We're fired up. Everyone's healthy. It's going to be fun."

With Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez joining the Red Sox lineup, Pedroia is unsure -- and apparently, unconcerned -- where he's going to hit in the batting order.

"I don't care," he said. "I don't think anyone cares."

Pedroia acknowledge that his patience was tested during his rehab.

"It's been tough," he said. "You try to set little goals, stuff like that. The other day was my last workout and I was kind of excited. I put a lot of hard work in and I'm ready for it to show on the field."

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Wednesday's Red Sox-Yankees lineups: Second try at clinching A.L. East

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Wednesday's Red Sox-Yankees lineups: Second try at clinching A.L. East

The Red Sox try again to nail down the A.L. East crown tonight, sending Clay Buchholz to the mound against the Yankees while needed just one victory -- or one Toronto defeat -- to clinch the division.

Tonight's lineups:

RED SOX:
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Brock Holt 3B
Andrew Benintendi LF
Sandy Leon C
----
Clay Buchholz P

YANKEES:
Brett Gardner LF
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Gary Sanchez C
Brian McCann DH
Starlin Castro 2B
Didi Gregorious SS
Mark Texeira 1B
Chase Headley 3B
Mason Williams RF
----
Bryan Mitchell P

 

McAdam: Doesn't take long for second-guessing of Farrell to resume

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McAdam: Doesn't take long for second-guessing of Farrell to resume

Three takeaways from the Red Sox' 6-4 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday night . . . 

1) Long relief may be short for the Red Sox in the postseason

The news that Drew Pomeranz won't start Thursday and is dealing with forearm soreness was ominous -- to say the least. While the Sox aren't concerned enough to order up an MRI for the lefty, it seems a fair bet that he won't pitch again this season. Pomeranz wasn't going to crack the postseason rotation and would likely have been relegated to relief duty. Now, even that seems a stretch.

Add that development to the continued absence of Steven Wright and the Red Sox are missing 40 percent of their rotation from late July and early August.

Healthy, both would have been stretched-out and available to provide multiple innings in the postseason.

Of course, most teams would prefer to not have to rely on long men in the postseason, since their very appearance in a game would signifiy that a starter got knocked out early.

When that happens, however, it's nice to have experienced, dependable arms to cover innings and not impact the bullpen's high-leverage pitchers.

Now, in such a scenario, the Sox will likely have to turn to either Robbie Ross Jr. or Heath Hembree.

2) Is Aaron Hill heating up?

In the month of September, Hill has posted a line of .381/.409/.571. On Tuesday night, he blasted a pinch-hit homer.

Admittedly, that's a relatively small sample size. But Hill has had better at-bats of late, especially against lefties.

It's doubtful that he'll take over third base -- now or in the postseason -- full-time, since John Farrell has two left-handed hitting options, with Travis Shaw and Brock Holt. Shaw certainly more power and has shown the ability to go on hot streaks at the plate.

But Hill is a veteran player, albeit one with little postseason experience (11 at-bats in the Division Series for Arizona in 2011) for a 12-year veteran.

And one other benefit: Hill is a .373 career hitter as a pinch-hitter, making him a valuable part off the bench in games started by either Holt or Shaw.

3) One loss is all it took for the second-guessing to resurface

The Sox had won 11 straight before Tuesday's loss, which quickly re-introduced criticism of Farrell.

Starter David Price had given up four runs through six innings, but the Sox rallied for two runs off Tommy Layne in the seventh to tie things at 4-4.

At 76 pitches, Price went back out for the seventh and promptly yielded a two-run homer to Tyler Austin, giving the Yanks another two-run lead.

Price hadn't been sharp in the first six. With expanded rosters, plenty of available relievers and a rested bullpen after a day off Monday, why stick with Price?

Offered Farrell: "You go with a right-hander they’re going to go with [Mark] Teixeira and [Brian] McCann with that right-field porch,” Farrell said. “Wanted to keep the (right-handed hitters) in the ballgame, (but Price) mislocated over the plate.”