Dustin Pedroia is likely to undergo season-ending surgery. (Getty Images)

Red Sox Pre-Game Notes: Dustin Pedroia 'moving towards' surgery, but 'nothing definitive'

September 10, 2014 - 8:38 am
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Red Sox manager John Farrell said while there were no firm plans to do so yet, surgery to address the ongoing inflammation he's experienced throughout this season represents a likely outcome. For now, Farrell suggested, the surgery has yet to be scheduled, but that appears the likely conclusion of this process after Tuesday's MRI revealed the worsening inflammation. "Nothing definitive. He and we are still gathering information. It's moving towards probably a procedure, but nothing definitive is scheduled right now," said Farrell. Of course, the idea of fixing what currently ails Pedroia is one thing. Going forward, the Sox face the question of whether there's any way to diminish the frequency of injuries that have become an annual staple for Pedroia as a result of his perpetually dirt-covered style of play. "We've asked him not to slide head-first anymore, which he's doing. You go back to Opening Day in 2013 [when Pedroia tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb on a head-first slide], that's where a lot of this originated," said Farrell. "He's aggravated the left hand again by being taken out at second base on double plays, earlier in the year and then mid-year. So, we're really not going to ask him to change -- with the exception of deciding to slide head-first. Dustin plays the game as he's wired. That's what makes him the great player that he is. "If there's thought to playing more under control, does that thought put a guy in position physically for potential injury? That's debatable. But he's going to play by his instincts," Farrell added. "We would not ask Dustin to even think about changing those. Then I think you're disrupting the natural abilities of a player. That might be more detrimental than just playing all out." Given that the team won't ask Pedroia to alter his red-line style of play, there is an alternative that the team is considering: Having Pedroia play less. He played a career-high 160 games in 2013 and had played in 97 percent of the team's games until he suffered a concussion in Tampa Bay at the end of last month. The team may seek to regulate the number of games he plays more actively going forward. "He and I have had conversations, [GM Ben Cherington] and I have talked about ... do we set a certain number of consecutive games played and then, regardless, you'€™re getting him off his feet? That'€™s one approach that we have discussed," said Farrell. "And I think in Dustin'€™s case specifically, as a guy gets deeper into his career, he might need that day off prior to an off day to get him a couple of days of recovery time. All those things are being discussed and looked at.'€ OTHER RED SOX NOTES -- Farrell said that right-hander Koji Uehara had a strong, extended bullpen session on Tuesday in which he showed good life on his pitches (particularly his splitter). He's expected to be available to pitch in games in Kansas City, with the idea that he will eventually reclaim his role at the end of games. "He'll be available out of the bullpen this weekend, and we would get him in lower-leverage situations initially, with the thought of getting him back into closing games out before the season finishes," said Farrell. -- Matt Barnes, after an impressive major league debut on Tuesday in which he tossed three shutout innings against the Orioles, is slated to remain in the bullpen throwing multiple inning stints after getting the needed rest to be ready. Even after his strong debut, there are not yet plans to have him start. "Last night was impressive. I can't say that because of a three-inning stint last night, does it move him into the rotation? We're not at that point," said Farrell. "We want to take the remaining games in September and get his feet wet. We're doing that." -- Brock Holt is expected to return to the lineup in Kansas City after missing a number of days due to illness and a stiff neck.
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