BOSTON — The Red Sox and Mookie Betts received good news Tuesday after the right fielder’s visit to a hand specialist. A CT scan revealed Betts has inflammation in the left hand and wrist area, but there’s no structural damage, per manager John Farrell.
Betts was out of the Red Sox lineup and is day to day. He still has a bone bruise on his right hand, so both of his hands are banged up.
“Would hope that he’s back to us in a short period of time,” Farrell said. “I think what he also showed [in Cincinnati] was the ability to get back in the lineup quick and would think that that could be a similar situation with this.”
Farrell said the most recent injury is at the juncture of the wrist and the hand.
“It's in the back of the left hand, closer to the wrist,” Farrell said. “I can't say that it's solely in the wrist. … There’s a ton of bones in there.”
Assuming Betts is indeed healthy enough to return before the regular season ends, the Sox will have a difficult choice to make, with him as well as the rest of their injured players.
After the division is presumably wrapped up, what’s more valuable heading into the playoffs for those who are significantly banged up: timing at the plate in the final few games, or simply rest?
“That’s going to be individual. That’s going to be in conjunction with the medical staff, it’s going to be in conjunction with the player himself,” Farrell said. “We got to do what’s right by the individual guy, and it starts with health. You know, I can’t run a guy out there that’s walking around on one leg. We got to take care of that first. But there’s a balance there that you try to strive for.”
With Dustin Pedroia, Farrell seems to already have an answer. The second baseman was out of the lineup for a second straight game Tuesday because of his aching left knee.
“Pedey’s still dealing with a little bit of swelling, and our approach with Pedey has been, just to get him as best as possible we can,” Farrell said. “To have him… most fresh and capable once we get to the next stage.
“I’m confident that he will [be ready for the playoffs], because he's going to do whatever is needed or certainly whatever it takes.”
But the situation is hazier elsewhere. Farrell said there’s no timetable for Eduardo Nunez’s return after the infielder aggravated his right knee injury on Monday. Nunez said Monday night he was hopeful he’d try again in the Houston series, the four-gamer that starts Thursday and ends the regular season.
“He’s got a day of no baseball activity [Tuesday],” Farrell said. “Just strictly rehab, continuing strengthening of the quad area to support that. No real timeline yet for his return.”
Nunez felt the knee Monday when his spike was caught at the plate. The Sox may alter his shoes to better prevent that going forward. But both how much Nunez plays before the regular season ends and where — would you use him or Pedroia at designated hitter? — are up in the air.