On Wednesday, as we know, the Red Sox had to remove Dustin Pedroia from the game in New York after just an inning and a half after he felt something strange in is knee. As we discussed on Thursday, the expectation was that the team would get some sort of reinforcements at second base prior to Friday’s series opener in Tampa Bay. Before we found out about anything to do with the rest of the roster, we did get some good news on the veteran. He went to see a doctor in New York yesterday, and according to a report from Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, he did not sustain another major injury to the knee. Instead, the team is still simply calling it irritation. Despite that, he is still going to be placed on the injured list.
Per source, Pedroia headed to injured list— Rob Bradford (@bradfo) April 18, 2019
This is not surprising even without the major injury being sustained. We talked about this early in the week, but the way this roster is set up right now simply is not sustainable. Not only is Eduardo Núñez still getting the bulk of the playing time at second base, but any minor injury that keeps a player out for a couple days is causing major headaches for a team that’s already carrying a short bench. Pedroia hadn’t been ready to play every day even before this setback, and it was making things much more difficult than they had to be.
That’s what makes the corresponding move here so strange. Taking Pedroia’s spot on the roster is going to be Marcus Walden, making his return to the roster.
Dustin Pedroia placed on 10-day IL. Marcus Walden up.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) April 19, 2019
At first glance, this makes no sense. Why wouldn’t it be an infielder, right? Well, it does make more sense after taking a step back. No, they are not going to keep 14 pitchers on the roster. If they do, well, I’ll throw my hands up in disbelief. Much more likely is that they wanted Walden back on the roster. Since he was just sent down to Pawtucket four days ago, and thus without an injury making room he would have to wait six days to come back up. So, they used this IL stint as an opportunity to get him back up. At some point on Friday, it’s all but certain a pitcher, most likely Erasmo Ramírez, will be designated or optioned (I’m admittedly not clear on his options situation and if he has options whether or not he’d accept an assignment back to Pawtucket) to make room for an infielder. Perhaps they’ll look for a spark with Michael Chavis, but the overwhelmingly most likely decision to be made will be Tzu-Wei Lin getting the call. In the end, they’ll still have the 13 pitchers on the roster, it’ll just be swapping Walden back in with Lin taking Pedroia’s spot. They’re just taking the scenic route to get there to circumvent some roster restrictions.