Dustin Pedroia: Should Boston Red Sox Be Concerned?

Benjamin KleinContributor IIIJune 13, 2012

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 10:  Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox reaches first base on a fielder's choice to knock in a run against the Washington Nationals during interleague play at Fenway Park June 10, 2012  in Boston, Massachusetts. A run scored on the play. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Since coming back from a thumb injury that kept him out of the Boston Red Sox for a few games, Dustin Pedroia has been awful at the plate. Boston, as a team, has seen a drop in production through the first week-and-a-half of June, but Pedroia has been noticeably bad. It could be that his thumb is still bothering him or that he isn't comfortable with the brace he's been wearing, but it might be time to start worrying about him.

Pedroia originally injured his right thumb in an at-bat against the Oakland Athletics in early May, and then he did further damage to it on Memorial Day, according to WEEI's Rob Bradford. An MRI showed that Pedroia had torn his adductor muscle, and it was questionable as to how long he'd be sidelined.

Boston decided to give Pedroia a few days off instead of placing him on the disabled list, and he eventually returned to the lineup just six games later, wearing a custom brace over his thumb.

Pedroia told Yahoo! Sports, "My thumb was great (after going 0-for-3 on June 5 against the Baltimore Orioles). I’ve just got to get used to the guard and getting my timing back a little bit. Other than that, I felt fine."

Apparently it’s taken a little more time than expected, since he still isn’t hitting the ball.

In eight games since returning, he’s hitting .129/.222/.161 with four hits, one run and nine strikeouts. Those kinds of numbers cannot happen, especially when Boston continues to free-fall from playoff contention.

I’d give Pedroia a couple more games before re-evaluating him. It’s obvious that he's still feeling the effects of the torn muscle in his thumb.

Nick Punto filled in at second base during Pedroia’s short absence, and he did a solid job considering he isn’t an everyday player anymore. The Red Sox can’t get much worse at this point, so inserting Punto into the lackluster Boston lineup wouldn’t be the end of the world.

As NBC Sports’ Aaron Gleeman writes, many thought Pedroia would have to miss 3-to-4 months with this injury. Rushing him back might not have been the best course of action for Pedroia or for the team.

Going into Wednesday’s series finale against the Miami Marlins, Boston sat 6.5 games behind the first place New York Yankees in the American League East. Things have to change if they’re going to make a push for the playoffs, even if that means giving Pedroia some days off.

If Boston isn’t already concerned about the health of Dustin Pedroia, they should be.