NEW YORK — Has Dustin Pedroia played his final game of the season? Red Sox manager John Farrell doesn’t believe so, but the second baseman isn’t quite so convinced after going back on the disabled list on Saturday.
Pedroia has played only one game since July 28 because of inflammation in his left knee, the product of a cartilage injury. Now he will be out at least another six days, likely longer. The transaction was retroactive to Wednesday.
“We’ve just got to try and find a way to manage it and get through it,” Pedroia said before the Red Sox beat the Yankees, 10-5. “We’re doing everything we can to try and get better and get out there.”
Pedroia went through a full workout last Sunday and had a follow-up MRI the next day. He was cleared to play and came off the disabled list on Tuesday, going 0 for 4 with a walk as the designated hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays.
But there was more swelling the next day and now he is shut down again.
“I was told that was a possibility, how it could respond,” Pedroia said. “You just have to try and find a way to get through it and stay positive. Let some things calm down and heal a little bit and once that happens get back out there and go.”
Pedroia was asked whether he expected to play again this season.
“I hope so, yeah. That’s what we’re working towards,” he said.
Farrell was far more positive.
“There’s nothing we have right now that suggests he won’t be back to us,” the manager said. “There’s been no talk of any kind of procedure.”
Pedroia has been treated by team doctors and sought outside opinions as well. But there is no timetable for a return.
“We’re always trying something. I think the best thing right now is rest and let it calm down,” Pedroia said. “I know it’s the wrong time for that but it’s just the situation we’re in. Once it calms down I’ll be out there as fast as I can.”
Pedroia would not comment on the exact nature of the injury.
“I’ve got a lot of things going on, man,” he said. “I don’t really want to talk about injuries and stuff. Like I said, I’ll be out there as fast as I can.”
Pedroia had cartilage surgery on his knee last Oct. 12. On April 21, he was reinjured by a takeout slide from Baltimore’s Manny Machado and has had issues with the knee since.
Eduardo Nunez started at second base against the Yankees on Saturday afternoon. The Sox have been using Nunez and Brock Holt as replacements for Pedroia.
Pedroia, who turns 34 on Thursday, is having one of his better seasons. Through 86 games, he has hit .303 with a .784 OPS and is third on the team with 54 RBIs. He also has been one of the top defensive second basemen in the American League.
“One of the leaders of our team, both in the clubhouse and in between the lines,” Farrell said. “When you have that type of player, an All-Star caliber player, in the middle of the diamond, those are difficult to replace.
“Yeah, we miss him and look forward to the day he returns.”
Sale for MVP?
Houston second baseman Jose Altuve seems like a lock for American League Most Valuable Player. But Farrell likes Chris Sale.
“Great debate. A lot of people say there’s no way a starting pitcher can be [MVP]. I refute that,” he said. “Hell, having been a former pitcher, there’s no reason why he couldn’t be in the conversation.”
Sale is 14-4 with a 2.57 earned run average and the Red Sox are 17-6 in his starts. Sale leads the league in wins, innings, ERA, strikeouts, WHIP, and strikeout-to-walk ratio.
“As dominant as he has been with the exception of an outing or two, we’re talking about a difference maker in the standings, the feel of the team, what he means to our team,” Farrell said. “Yeah, he should be in that conversation.”
Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers was the National League MVP in 2014. He was 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA. Justin Verlander of the Tigers was the American League MVP in 2011. He was 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA.
Sale starts on Sunday night. He has faced the Yankees twice this season and allowed two runs on 11 hits over 15⅔ innings while striking out 23. The lefthander is 4-2 with a 1.17 ERA in 12 appearances against the Yankees in his career.
Price throws again
David Price played long toss out to 120 feet and threw more pitches from flat ground afterward. The lefthander is making progress toward getting back on the mound. He is out with a strained elbow.
“Two good work days back-to-back for him,” Farrell said. “We’ll check and see how he is when he comes in [Sunday]. The volume and distance of throwing will be determined at that point.”
Yankees lefthander Jordan Montgomery was hit in the head by a foul ball off the bat of Sandy Leon while the Red Sox took batting practice. Montgomery, who was signing autographs at the time, was able to walk off the field. The Yankees announced that Montgomery was checked out by their medical staff and remains scheduled to start on Sunday night . . . The Red Sox recalled lefthanded reliever Robby Scott from Triple A Pawtucket to replace Pedroia on the roster. He allowed two home runs in the ninth. Scott has given up nine runs on 11 hits — five of them homers — in his last 10⅓ major league innings . . . The Yankees placed Masahiro Tanaka on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Righthanded reliever Giovanny Gallegos was recalled from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Tanaka joined teammates Michael Pineda and CC Sabathia on the DL. All three were in the rotation to start the season . . . Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. He is 7 for 42 (.167) against the Sox this season with one home run, two RBIs, and 17 strikeouts. Judge has hit .161 since the All-Star break and struck out 43 times in 93 at-bats.