Bobby V podcast: No DL for Pedroia?

June, 1, 2012
6/01/12
6:12
PM ET
Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine joined the Michael Kay Show on ESPN New York 98.7 FM for his weekly appearance, and provided an optimistic outlook on Dustin Pedroia, who's sidelined by a thumb injury.

"It's the meaty part of the hand, where the ... muscles that control the thumb get bruised by a pitch being thrown inside and the bat vibrating in the hand," Valentine said. "Most of his swelling is down, he's gripping a bat, he played catch [Thursday].

"I don't think the DL is going to be in the cards for him. That being said, he's not ready to play just yet, so we're playing -- as they say -- a man short."

Valentine added that while there is natural concern that Pedroia could get hurt worse when he's able to return, he's not worried about it.

"I think Dustin can go out there and play, and not be affected at all, unless a re-occurrence of the original situation presents itself. That fastball that comes inside that you don't get the head of the bat out and you get your hands out, and it hits close to your hand and you get that vibration, it can be painful."

More highlights:

• On playing Will Middlebrooks at shortstop:

"We're just trying to cover in case of an emergency," Valentine said, indicating that he didn't envision a scenario where Middlebrooks (SS), Kevin Youkilis (3B) and Adrian Gonzalez (1B) would all play in the same infield. Valentine is committed to playing Nick Punto at second while Pedroia is out, but needs a contingency plan in case Punto or shortstop Mike Aviles were to get hurt.

• On recovering from a slow start to post a 14-6 mark over the past 20 games, the second-best record in baseball during that span:

"I think we've gotten tougher and we know a lot more about ourselves right now, and what we know is we're a pretty good team."

• On how the Sox have managed to stay strong while battling through injuries and adversity:

"When you talk about group mentality, you have to look to the David Ortiz's, and the Adrian Gonzalez's, the Dustin Pedroias to provide that kind of leadership."

Valentine also addresses whether he's worried that Gonzalez could get hurt while playing the outfield, the trade rumors swirling around Youkilis and more. To listen to the full podcast, CLICK HERE.

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