Pedroia seeks second opinion on foot; talks to Michael Jordan for advice

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Seeking a second opinion on Dustin Pedroia’s sore left foot, the Red Sox sent scans to Dr. Jonathan Deland and Dr. Robert Anderson, according Quinn Roberts of MLB.com.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that the team expected feedback either Tuesday or Wednesday, so we should hear an update on his status relatively quickly. This afternoon, Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com reported that surgery for Pedroia remains a possibility.

Looking to ease his second baseman’s mind, Francona even dialed up his old pal Michael Jordan, who he managed with the Birmingham Barons in 1994. Jordan also broke the navicular bone in his left foot while playing with the Bulls during the 1985-1986 season.

Francona described the nature of the conversation during an appearance on the Dale & Holley show on WEEI in Boston this morning.

“I don’t call Michael very much just because I know how much people bug
him. But because of Pedey, I knew that Michael would enjoy talking to
him, and he did. He was almost fatherly in his advice. He was like, “I
went through this, it’s tough, you got to listen.” Pedey was all ears
and that was good. When guys like Michael Jordan talk, people are apt to
listen more.”

Speaking of Jordan, I wasn’t able to watch the latest “30 for 30” documentary about his time with the Barons — too busy with baseball coverage both here and on Rotoworld last night — but I’m very interested to do so. 

Dusty Baker expects Stephen Strasburg to make his next scheduled start

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Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks. The right-hander reportedly had trouble getting loose and it showed: he yielded a hit and three walks to the 10 batters he faced. According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Strasburg had “some nerve impingement that has been alleviated.”

Manager Dusty Baker expects Strasburg to make his next scheduled start on Saturday at home against the Rockies, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Strasburg was examined by doctors, who deemed him to be in good shape — enough to not warrant undergoing an MRI.

Through 20 starts, Strasburg owns a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio across 121 2/3 innings. Though the injury scare isn’t what the Nationals hoped for, he’s done well in the first year of his seven-year, $175 million contract extension.

John Lackey hit four White Sox batters today

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Cubs starter John Lackey didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field against the White Sox. The right-hander hit four White Sox batters over the course of five innings. He yielded just two runs, though, on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He left with a 4-2 lead.

Lackey hit Jose Abreu with one out in the first inning, then hit Abreu again in the fifth. He then hit Matt Davidson and Yoan Moncada shortly thereafter. Chris Beck relieved Carlos Rodon for the White Sox in the bottom of the fifth and promptly hit Ian Happ with a fastball to lead off the frame. Home plate umpire Lance Barksdale issued warnings to both benches and the beanings stopped.

So, how often do pitchers hit four batters in a game? Not that often! The last to do it was the Reds’ Josh Smith on July 4, 2015 against the Brewers. Before that, it was the Nationals’ Livan Hernandez on July 20, 2005 against the Rockies. Lackey is only the ninth pitcher to hit four batters in a game since 2000 and the 26th since 1913. The only other Cubs pitcher to do it besides Lackey was Moe Drabowsky in 1957.