According to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will fly back to Boston on Thursday to have his right knee examined by a specialist and could be facing surgery that would put him out for at least a month.
Pedroia has been playing with a banged up knee since mid-May and has struggled mightily at the plate because of it. The three-time All-Star is sporting a .246/.357/.338 batting line in 270 plate appearances. He’s averaged a .299/.368/.449 slash line in his five-plus seasons as a major leaguer.
Pedroia told the Globe that he will have a “needle with a camera” stuck into his knee Thursday to examine whether there’s structural damage and whether he indeed needs to have it repaired with a surgical procedure.
So for now we play the waiting game. If Pedroia gets the surgery and misses a month or more, the Red Sox will likely move Jed Lowrie to second base and ask Marco Scutaro to play shortstop again on an everyday basis. Drew Sutton would also begin seeing more frequent playing time on the middle infield.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.