NEW YORK -- With Dustin Pedroia's return from the disabled list expected to happen as early as Friday, Eduardo Nunez will soon move to a roving infield role the Red Sox envisioned when they traded for him.Nunez has been a consistent presence at the plate since he arrived from the
NEW YORK -- With Dustin Pedroia's return from the disabled list expected to happen as early as Friday, Eduardo Nunez will soon move to a roving infield role the Red Sox envisioned when they traded for him.
Nunez has been a consistent presence at the plate since he arrived from the Giants, and manager John Farrell will still keep him in the lineup on a nearly everyday basis. Since making his debut for Boston on July 28, Nunez has made 24 of his 30 starts at second base.
"The beauty of it is the versatility that Eduardo brings us and that was one of the bigger drawing points when we acquired him," said Farrell. "He can go to any one of the three infield positions and will probably rotate through there on days that Pedey is on the field, so that we can keep guys fresh a little bit more and as we move forward and get deeper in the season."
Nunez will rotate between second, short, third and the designated-hitter spot. He also has the ability to play left field, but the Red Sox are already well-covered there between Andrew Benintendi, Chris Young and Brock Holt.
Pedroia is far more confident in the state of his left knee this time than when he made a one-day return from the disabled list on Aug. 8, only to have to go right back on the DL.
"We put a lot of work in to get to this point, so I'm pretty excited," said Pedroia. "We kind of changed a lot on how to take care of it. So far, so good. Testing it and the amount of stuff I've put on it, the next day coming in I've been OK. As long as that keeps happening, I don't think there will be that much of a limit [on playing time] as long as we keep going with what we're doing now."
That said, Farrell will do his best to keep Pedroia as healthy as possible.
"I think his confidence says how good he feels about himself physically," Farrell said. "And yet he hasn't been in games for weeks. So whether it's his knee, low back, hamstrings, just getting back active there's going to be some things we'll have to monitor. That will be something that we'll continue to work through in the early days of his return."
• David Price felt no ill effects from his bullpen session on Wednesday, and the lefty is on track to do some more mound work on Friday. How well Price's left elbow can tolerate a steady stream of mound activity will be the indicator of whether a comeback this season is realistic. Price last pitched on July 22.
• The Red Sox will add three to four players as September callups on Friday when the rosters expand. In addition, righty reliever Matt Barnes (back) will be activated from the disabled list prior to the game. Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (left thumb sprain) is expected to make his return on Saturday, the first day he is eligible.
• The Red Sox announced after Thursday's 6-2 loss to the Yankees that their first round of September callups will consist of first baseman Sam Travis, catcher Blake Swihart, right-hander Austin Maddox and left-hander Roenis Elias. Travis, Boston's No. 4 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, might be able to help give the club some more production against left-handed pitching. Maddox and Elias can provide bullpen depth. This is the first Major League stint of the season for Swihart, who has had a tough time of it with injuries over the last year.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.