Pedroia, Uehara Avoid Disabled List

Pedroia Uehara

On Monday, the Red Sox received great news on two of its best players. The team learned that Dustin Pedroia and Koji Uehara will avoid a stint on the disabled list and will re-join the Red Sox in Chicago for their series against the White Sox.

Both Pedroia and Uehara were examined on Monday and neither had any structural damage. The two players are both listed day-to-day as Boston opens a three-game series against the White Sox today.

Pedroia was sent back to Boston on Sunday with soreness in his wrist. He has been suffering from the injury since April 4, the day of the Red Sox home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Pedroia has gotten off to a slow start this season. In 12 games, he’s hitting .236 with only one RBI.

Pedroia is no stranger to playing with injuries. In 2013, he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb during the first game of the season, but still managed to play in 160 games.

The Red Sox announced in a release Monday that Pedroia underwent an MRI at Massachusetts General Hospital. The MRI revealed inflammation in his left wrist, but no fractures.

Uehara, who hasn’t pitched since April 9, has been dealing with shoulder soreness for the past week. The 39-year-old also underwent an MRI at Massachusetts General Hospital on Monday that revealed no structural damage in his right shoulder.

Uehara has not allowed a run in five one-inning appearances this season. He’s allowed only three hits and has struck out seven.

Prior to the Red Sox game against the New York Yankees on Sunday, Uehara threw off of a flat surface and the team reported no ill effects. Manager John Farrell said that the team would like Uehara to have at least one bullpen session before using him in a game.

The Red Sox also announced Monday that outfielder Shane Victorino, who started the season on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with one of the club’s minor league affiliates later this week.

Pedey’s Secret is Revealed

Dustin Pedroia Pedey

JIM DAVIS/GLOBE STAFF
Dustin Pedroia made a diving stop during Monday’s game.

Dustin Pedroia has started all 53 games this season despite the injury to his thumb, a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament he has been suffering from since opening day at Yankee Stadium on April 1.  “I feel fine. I feel normal” he recalls. The question is why it is now we are just learning about it and why it is even a concern?  He’s Dustin Pedroia.  We all know, from years past, that man won’t let anything or anyone deter him from playing a game.

Unabashed, cocky, fearless and undaunted; these are words that describe Dustin Pedroia. Unlike the rest of the team who seems to be put on the DL more often than not these days for various injuries; from hamstring pulls, to biceps strains, to back pain, Pedey is an all-around all-star when it comes to determination and drive.  He is a player that sets a tone for teammates to look up to.  He is a solid player who has a high threshold to pain says John Farrell.  His injury was of no concern although his performance in his at-bats from April 6-18 would say otherwise.  During that time Pedey landed 15 strike outs in 40 at-bats.  But was it really because of his injury or was it by coincidence his performance was fair?

No matter, Pedey has entered the line-up in every game and had more than stellar performances.  There is no doubt in John Farrell’s mind when it comes to Dustin’s athleticism. He’s here to win.  He’s a ball player.  He won’t let the little things take away from what he is paid for and loves to do.

Dustin tried to keep his thumb injury a secret.  After all, he’s playing isn’t he?  Why do fans need to know anything else? He’s healthy in everyone’s mind and he’s playing well.  He did not go on the DL because on April 1, when he jammed his thumb into first base while diving head first, it wasn’t an issue, nor is it an issue now.   Case in point, upset as he was for the leak, the cat’s out of the bag. Are we, as fans, going to think anything different of the second base all-star? If anything, we, I’m sure, will respect him more for his strength to keep it together and pull through for not only his team, but his fans as well.

It’s Official, John Lackey is on a 15-day DL

John Lackey

Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Alfredo Aceves after giving up a three-run home run to New York Yankees Vernon Wells, who rounds the bases, in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, Wednesday, April 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

John Lackey seems to be okay, but once again Farrell is taking precautions and has put him on the DL for 15 days.  To be honest, I think we all saw this coming.  Lackey will be on the DL until April 22 when he will return to the game hopefully in full recovery. Post injury they had him throwing, but not as intense as he would in a game. He was also doing treatment for his right biceps strain he encountered while pitching against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, April 6, in Toronto – his first day back on the mound after his Tommy John reconstructive surgery November 1, 2011. Alfredo Aceves will be the starting pitcher for the time being.

Even with light throwing, Lackey experienced irritation in his right biceps which was reason to put him on a 15-day DL.  Farrell explained he wanted him to take time to recover at his own pace and not be pressured to be on any time constraint.  April 22 will be here before you know it and hopefully Lackey will be back in full swing.  For now, Alfredo Aceves will take to the mound.  His first game was last night, Thursday April 11, the last of the three games against the Baltimore Orioles.  Why Aceves? Well, his past has proven a success against the Orioles.  He pitched six innings, without score, consecutively while on the Yankees in 2008, his only start against the Orioles, and in 25 games he withstood a 5-2 record and a 2.31 ERA.

Is Aceves a good replacement? After Lackey was announced injured, Aceves took to the mound and the results were not as expected, for in 3 and 2/3 innings he gave up three run home runs.

Last night was a better performance by Aceves, although the Sox lost 3-2 to the Orioles at Fenway Park. In reality, it was Clay Mortensen who jeopardized the team’s ability to win. Aceves played out the first five innings before Farrell called in Mortensen. Among those five innings, Aceves allowed two runs (one home run by Chris Davis of the Orioles) but was pretty strong and controlled all around. Fire, passion and attitude are words fans have been using as they speak of Aceves.  He has both the fire and passion to persevere and his attitude has dramatically changed from his prior performance.  Juan Nieves, the pitching coach for the Sox, describes Aceves in one word: creative. In lieu of last night’s performance, I do have hopes he will persevere and help bring a struggling team to victory.  We all would love to see John Lackey back on the mound as soon as possible, but I think we can agree he’s better off on the DL for the time being.

Training Like an Athlete: The Importance of Dynamic Stretching

training

The Boston Red Sox had their unhealthiest season last year. In fact they were the most unhealthy in the league due to injury.  With three guys in three days on the DL at one point and David Ortiz’s ‘slight tear’ in his Achilles tendon (which remains irritated) it was an unimpressive season for the players and a grave disappointment toward the fans.  It’s pretty pathetic when browsing the internet to check on the 2013 stats at spring training there are humorous anecdotes on how the team remained ‘injury free on day 2’ in response to last season’s debacle.

“The Red Sox had 27 players serve 34 stints on the disabled list (for a total of 1,729 days missed), the most for any team since at least 1987” (espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/23595/reinold-out-as-head-physical-therapist)

Injury prevention is key to being an elite athlete and possessing an elite team. Dynamic stretching is one way to remain safe and keep the players intact. Of course it isn’t a miracle drug but it does decrease the odds of getting hurt. Not only for the professional athlete but this abides to anyone looking to enhance their performance in a safe and effective manner. So don’t try to tell me it’s a waste of time.  As a personal trainer and fitness guru I have all of my clients no matter what athletic ability they are perform a fifteen minute routine to warm-up their muscles prior to an intense work-out. This allows for improved flexibility along with a slow, steady increased heart rate. Your muscles are like rubber bands, the colder they are the tighter they are and they have the ability to ‘snap’ if you’re not careful. However, as you warm up your body the muscles loosen and gain elasticity so as not to tear as you sprint home or swing at a ninety mph pitch.

There are sport specific exercises that cater to each muscle group used in a certain movement.  For example baseball players need to focus on their core, groin, hip flexors, hamstrings and quads.  Walking lunges with a rotation is perfect to warm up the hip flexors and lateral lunges stretch the groin. So whether you are the professional athlete, the high school athlete or someone just looking for an intense workout it is most important to loosen up your muscles by beginning your work-out with a dynamic warm-up.

“Any time someone doesn’t limp off the field or get hauled away on a golf cart in camp is a good day, so the Red Sox made progress from Day One, when Clay Buchholz left with a mild hamstring strain. Not only were there no casualties, manager John Farrell said Buchholz checked out well and threw on flat ground Wednesday.” (espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/24751/todays-takeaways-day-2-is-injury-free)

In honor of the Boston Red Sox and in the hope that this season will take them to new heights let’s go out there and train safe and train hard!