NEW YORK — Dustin Pedroia has started only three of the Red Sox’ 18 games this season and is hitting .105, slugging .105 and with a .150 on-base percentage.
The Red Sox don’t see his durability or production as a problem or as a surprise.
“He’s coming back in a tough situation,” Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said. “He’s not there from an offensive perspective, but guys don’t miss two years and come back and swing the bat like they’re an All-Star at that point, so he’s going to take some time to find his timing. He’s working on it. He’s hit some balls decently. He played second base great the other day turning the double plays.
“It’s still a situation where only time will tell, because, the real key for Dustin is going to be when he plays days in a row. Part of the plan is not at that point yet. As time goes on, it’s apparent he can handle short term. We’re very happy and the doctors are very happy and he’s very happy with it. But we can’t run him out there right now for a week at a time. That’s just not good for his knee. We know that.”
Manager Alex Cora said he expected that Pedroia would be at second base to start Wednesday’s game.
He disagreed with the suggestion that when Pedroia is on the bench, the Red Sox are playing a man short.
“No, no, no, no, no, we can use him in games,” Cora said. “Like today, he’s available but avoiding him to go seven or eight out there, I think that’s part of what we’re trying to accomplish, we’ve got to take care of him.”
Dombrowski said the three rehab games Pedroia played for Greenville (Single A) before being activated were enough.
“He felt he was ready to go,” Dombrowski said. “To stretch this out over a lengthy period, it would take a long time period to get through the whole time. He’s not going to be ready to play — which we’ve said along — every day, for a lengthy period. So we’re willing to deal with the situation.”
Both Cora and Dombrowski are satisfied Pedroia’s lack of consistent availability to date is an acceptable situation.
“I think we did an outstanding job of building him up,” Cora said. “We knew coming into the season this is who we have, we knew coming into the season it was not going to be seven days a week, so it’s two out of three, maybe three out of four, we knew that, and I’m comfortable with that.”
Cora and Mookie Betts each said the right fielder’s right wrist was fine after he crashed against the right field wall trying in vain to catch a home run by Mike Tauchman in the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s 8-0 loss to the Yankees.
“It’s fine, just took a couple seconds to loosen up or whatever,” said Betts. “It’s fine.”
Did it affect his swing later in the game?
“No. No. It was perfectly fine,” said Betts. So it’s fine. …
The Red Sox have lost their last six series openers at Yankee Stadium. They were shut out for the third time this season, and their three hits were a season low.
The Red Sox were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, and in their last three games are hitting .067 (1-for-15) in those situations.
Even with the rough start he had, Chris Sale‘s career ERA is 1.87 against the Yankees over 15 starts and three relief appearances.
In addition to designating Blake Swihart for catcher and selecting catcher Sandy Leon to the big-league roster, the Red Sox also selected right-hander Erasmo Ramirez to the roster in order to replace Marcus Walden, who was optioned after Monday’s game.
The Ramirez move was made strictly to keep the Red Sox bullpen at full strength. Ramirez gave up four runs on four hits in three innings, including a pair of home runs
The club also assigned Brock Holt (scratched cornea) to a rehab assignment at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Cora could not give a timetable on how much time Holt would need in the minor leagues.
“We have to wait and see,” Cora said. “He felt great for a few days when he was going through what he went through. In Oakland and in Arizona when he played the games, it was the other way around, hopefully it’s sooner rather than later but we have to make sure he’s OK. Like I said before, you can say you have 20-20 vision to just walk around the streets and walk around the mall and all that but to hit elite pitching and play at this level, your eyesight has to be there.”
A timetable and assessment on Brian Johnson (left elbow inflammation) remains even more elusive.
“BJ’s staying back (in Boston), he’s getting treatment, nothing yet as far as baseball activities,” Cora said.
Andrew Benintendi, who fouled a ball off the top of his right foot Sunday at Fenway, was not in the starting lineup.
“Beni’s available – trying to stay away from him as much as possible,” Cora said. “But let’s say there’s traffic out there and there’s a spot that we feel he can change the game or do damage, we’ll use him. But he’s a lot better.”
Since the start of 2013, the Red Sox and Yankees (6-9) were 57-57 against each other in the regular season when Tuesday night’s game began. It was the first time in 27 years the teams both had a losing record when playing each other at least 15 games into a season.
In honor of late Boston Globe Red Sox writer Nick Cafardo, sports bar go-to Foley’s NY Pub & Restaurant this week is featuring the “Nick Cafardo Burger,” which is stuffed with fresh mozzarella and Italian sausage and topped with provolone cheese and served with parmesan-dusted fries.