Gonzalez injury could be a shortfall
More X-rays on sore hand today
With the Red Sox already down two shortstops - Nick Green is still having trouble with the disk/nerve issue in his back, and Jed Lowrie isn’t yet fully recovered from the left wrist problems that have plagued him all season - it was not good news when Alex Gonzalez was removed from last night’s game after being hit by a pitch on his right hand, between the base of the pinky finger and the heel of the wrist, in the eighth inning.
“I don’t feel any pain,’’ said Gonzalez, whose hand was bandaged and iced after the game. “I feel good. I can move my fingers and hand, my wrist. I hope there’s nothing big. I can use my hand, and I can squeeze.’’
Gonzalez had preliminary X-rays at Fenway Park, which manager Terry Francona called “a little bit inconclusive.’’ It revealed what Gonzalez called “a line,’’ which will be checked further today. Gonzalez said he was scheduled for an MRI today at 10:30 a.m., though a Red Sox spokesperson maintained that he is getting a more detailed X-ray.
The shortstop was not scheduled to be in today’s lineup anyway, with Lowrie getting the start.
Since being acquired Aug. 14, Gonzalez has steadied the position defensively, and added more offense than the Sox had anticipated. He has hit .285, with an OPS of .755. He has scored 25 runs in 43 games with Boston.
Gonzalez wasn’t the only Boston player to be removed from the game. Rocco Baldelli left with a left hip flexor strain after reaching on an error in the fourth inning. Baldelli is listed as day-to-day, and did not stick around to speak with the media.
“We got him out, obviously, precautionary because we didn’t want to do something,’’ Francona said. “It’s so hard for Rocco when he feels something because he doesn’t know if it’s a pull or not. We’ve been through all that. But he exhibited very good range of motion and no weakness. So I think that’s good. You know, we’re certainly going to have to monitor this one, just because of the health history. It is a concern, but we’ll watch him and try to find out more the next couple days.’’
“It’s been really kind of nagging for about a month,’’ Drew said. “Trying to buy time where we had a couple days so I can get a shot in there and let it kind of calm down.’’
Drew said his shoulder was “getting pretty well irritated in there,’’ with the pain mostly coming when he was in his batting stance, and when his arm came across his body during a swing.
“It didn’t limit me doing anything,’’ Drew said. “I was actually swinging the bat well and everything. Just that nagging and I’d go home and try to sleep and sleeping on it like that - the joint would just, it was not comfortable. So this is hopefully going to make it comfortable.’’
It’s a far cry from the way Drew limped into last year’s postseason. He didn’t play most of the final six weeks of the season, sidelined with back spasms. Drew hit .263 with a .349 OBP, and slugged .474 with two home runs and six RBIs in 11 postseason games.
“J.D.’s the one guy I worry less about his at-bats,’’ Francona said. “The rest seems to do him more good and he can come out after not playing for four days and swing it better than he had before.’’
Before the shoulder issue, which had come up earlier this season, Drew had been swinging well. He hit .358 with 6 home runs, 16 RBIs, and 16 runs over his last 27 games and hit .360 with 10 homers and 23 RBIs in his last 41 games.
He has remained healthy, for the most part. Drew has played 136 games, far more than his 109 last season. His career high is 146, which he had with the Dodgers in 2006, a year before he joined the Sox.
“Pretty much everybody that maybe thinks they’re on a bubble, we kind of told them where they would be going Sunday,’’ Francona said. “Cause Sunday’s going to be a madhouse around here. We have 37 bodies. If we know, we’d like to tell them where the heck they’re going. We certainly don’t know our roster, but to tell the guys who’s going where and why and then we’ll make our decisions after our meetings.’’
Francona said some of that information will be made public today, though the postseason roster won’t be finalized for a couple of days.
Adam Kilgore of the Globe staff contributed to this report.