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Pedroia (knee) to halt rehab, return to Boston

@IanMBrowne
May 25, 2019

HOUSTON – Dustin Pedroia’s latest setback with his troublesome left knee will prevent him from playing again this weekend for Double-A Portland. Instead, Pedroia will head back to Boston and be examined by the team’s medical staff on Monday. Pedroia pulled himself from Friday night’s game after his second at-bat.

HOUSTON – Dustin Pedroia’s latest setback with his troublesome left knee will prevent him from playing again this weekend for Double-A Portland.

Instead, Pedroia will head back to Boston and be examined by the team’s medical staff on Monday.

Pedroia pulled himself from Friday night’s game after his second at-bat.

“I mean, it’s another red flag, so we talked a little last night,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “We talked this morning. He just didn’t feel right yesterday. He’s not going to push it. He’s not going to make it worse. Yesterday he didn’t feel right so decided to stop playing.”

The 35-year-old second baseman has played in just nine games over the past two seasons for the Red Sox. He felt a popping sensation in his left knee on April 17 at Yankee Stadium.

Pedroia played for Portland from May 2-9 and had to be recalled from that rehab assignment due to discomfort in his knee.

He started back up on May 17 and again was able to play for one week before his knee flared up again.

“He said it just felt cranky the whole day so I saw the video,” said Cora. “Some people thought it was on a check swing or whatever. He didn’t mention that. He just mentioned he didn’t feel great so he decided to come out.”

Things are going much better for Brock Holt. After playing at shortstop alongside Pedroia for Pawtucket on Friday, the super-utility player flew to Houston to re-join his teammates on Saturday.

Cora said that Holt could be activated as early as Sunday. Holt has been on the injured list since April 6 due to a scratched cornea in his right eye and then a right shoulder impingement.

J.D.’s latest day off part of plan

When Boston’s lineup for Saturday’s game didn’t include J.D. Martinez, there was speculation that the star slugger suffered a setback with his back.

However, Cora said this was part of the plan. After missing the entire four-game series in Toronto with an illness and then back spasms, Martinez was back in the lineup on Friday and went 0-for-3 with a walk.

“Just a day [down],” said Cora. “Xander [Bogaerts] is not playing tomorrow so [Martinez] was going to play two out of three because I decided to. He’ll play [Sunday].”

When the Red Sox rampaged through the American League last season en route to a franchise record of 108 wins, Cora felt it was vital to give his regulars rest. He is adopting that same philosophy this season, even with his club in third place and trailing the Yankees by 6 1/2 games prior to Saturday’s game.

“And they trust it and trust what we’re doing,” Cora said. “They know it’s for their benefit. It’s 162 games. I understand how it works. We need these guys to be fresh. Sometimes you run them into the ground and you pay the price for five, six, seven days. You’ve got to be careful."

Eovaldi getting close

Righty Nathan Eovaldi took another big step in his return from right elbow surgery when he threw his second bullpen session of the week prior to Saturday’s game.

“That was really good,” said Cora. “Like I’ve been saying all along, this guy, physically, he’s on another level. He threw all his pitches, breaking ball, split, cutter, fastball. It was fun to watch. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow and then we’ll map it out. I don’t know if we’ll send him somewhere or do a simulated game here. But probably his next one is more than one inning. He looked great.”

Though Eovaldi hasn’t pitched for the Red Sox since April 17, Cora doesn’t anticipate that the flame-throwing starter will need much time to ramp back up.

“It doesn't seem [so] with the stuff he was throwing today. That was impressive,” Cora said.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.