NEW YORK -- As if another loss wasn’t tough enough, the Red Sox also lost Dustin Pedroia again on Wednesday night.
At this point, it’s hard to say how long Pedroia will be sidelined by the discomfort he felt in his problematic left knee, which led to him exiting in the second inning of a 5-3 defeat to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Pedroia will be examined by a doctor in New York during the Red Sox’s off-day on Thursday. At that point, the club will have more information.
“For him to come up to me and tell me how he felt, obviously I know a lot of people think he’s going to push and push and push and not be smart about it, but he understands where he’s at and how he felt,” said Boston manager Alex Cora. “I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do to take care of the player. I was surprised that he came up to me and told me that, but at least he was honest. We’ll see. We’ll see what happens.
“I really don’t know. He was a little bit down. He was down. I haven’t seen him like that. So hopefully it’s nothing serious, [hopefully] it’s something that he just got scared, but we’ll know more tomorrow.”
Pedroia felt discomfort when he hit a foul ball in his only at-bat of the night.
“In the first swing of that at-bat, that one he fouled off to right field, he felt something weird in his knee,” said Cora. “He finished the at-bat, he came up to me and was like, ‘Hey, it didn’t feel right there.’ I decided to take him out. He’ll see the doctor tomorrow, see where we’re at.”
Pedroia left the ballpark before speaking to reporters. This was because, in addition to his latest knee woes, he was feeling ill. Several Red Sox players have been dealing with the flu in recent weeks.
“That’s going around right now,” Cora said. “That’s why he took off. It’s not like he’s hiding.”
Pedroia is coming off a major left knee injury that sidelined him for all but three games last season. The left knee was also a major hindrance for him in 2017, when he was limited to 105 games.
Boston still has Pedroia under contract for three more seasons, including this one, and owes him $40 million over that span.
After a productive offseason, Pedroia hoped he had finally turned a corner. He passed every test the Red Sox gave him in Spring Training and in a three-game Minor League rehab assignment to start the season.
Pedroia made his debut for Boston in the home opener on April 9. He also started at second base on Thursday and Saturday. The Red Sox had Pedroia DH on Sunday and Monday, and he was not in the lineup for Tuesday’s series opener at Yankee Stadium.
The club had been basing Pedroia’s playing time on a maintenance plan in which he could build back up from all the time he missed.
Pedroia is 2-for-20 at the plate, but he has made a few stellar plays in the field. Now his knee has once again left him in limbo.
“That’s definitely something tough,” said Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts. “He’s worked so hard to make it back to where he is and hopefully it’s nothing too serious.”
Unless Wednesday’s situation winds up being a false alarm, Boston is all but sure to have to call up a second baseman in time for the weekend series at Tampa Bay that begins Friday.
The Red Sox have Eduardo Nunez available, but he’s been dealing with tightness in his back. Brock Holt, the team’s other option at second base, is on the injured list with a scratched cornea in his right eye. In fact, Holt didn’t feel great in the first game of his Minor League rehab assignment on Tuesday and didn’t play on Wednesday. Cora said he wouldn’t be ready for this weekend.
Tzu-Wei Lin is a likely candidate to be called up. The Red Sox could also make a bolder move and promote No. 1 prospect Michael Chavis, who has been getting some work at second base for Triple-A Pawtucket.
Cora admitted he expected the club would have to bring in a reinforcement by Friday.
“Hopefully, I’m wrong on this one and tomorrow he flies to Tampa and is ready to go,” said Cora. “But it looks that way.”