Posted on September 26, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
With the postseason fast approaching, the health of Boston Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez is once again uncertain. Nunez returned to the field Monday after being sidelined for more than two weeks with a knee injury. However, he soon had to leave the game after re-aggravating the sprained PCL ligament that sent him to the sidelines earlier this month. The Red Sox have no timeline for Nunez, who is being considered day to day.
Nunez doubled in his first at-bat of the game. His knee looked just fine as he ran the bases. But during his second at-bat, he fell to the ground after hitting a foul ball. Nunez was able to finish the at-bat but was clearly struggling to put weight on his injured knee. He was then removed from the game, which he began as the team’s designated hitter.
“We thought it was more ready than it was,” Nunez said. “I’m going to keep working, keep positive.”
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After the game, Red Sox manager John Farrell described Nunez as “day to day at this point.” The plan is to wait a few days and then have Nunez test his knee to see how he feels.
“We didn’t expect that it was going to be that tough,” Nunez said. “So, we’re going to shut down for a few more days, we’re going to keep working, do my treatment and hopefully in the series with Houston (starting Thursday), try again.”
An immediate setback is obviously not a good sign for Nunez. But the Red Sox remain hopeful that it’s nothing serious and Nunez simply needs more rest.
“His spike got caught on the swing,” explained Farrell. “We saw what his reaction was, a little aggravation of the injury that he’s coming back from. We don’t feel like there was added damage. He just aggravated it.”
Since being traded to the Red Sox in late July, Nunez has been a positive force in Boston. He’s hitting .321 with an OPS of .892 with the Red Sox. He also appears to be an important part of Boston’s postseason plans with Hanley Ramirez battling a shoulder injury and Dustin Pedroia playing through chronic knee pain.
Having Nunez available to play second base gives the Red Sox the option of moving Pedroia to the DH spot, especially if Ramirez is unavailable. Nunez also provides coverage throughout the infield and speed coming off the bench. Boston managed to go 10-3 during the past two weeks without Nunez. But in the postseason, the line between winning and losing can be so thin that the Red Sox needs all hands on deck, and that includes Nunez.
Right now, the Red Sox are hopeful that Nunez will be back before the end of the regular season and healthy enough to play in the postseason. However, after immediately re-aggravating his knee injury, there has to be some concern about his availability for the playoffs. Losing Nunez would be a significant blow to Boston’s postseason hopes.