X-rays taken today on Dustin Pedroia's left wrist came back clean. He will take batting practice tomorrow and likely play on Friday.
God forbid anything ever happens to him. That would make Boston's shortstop problems look positively quaint.
If you held a gun to my head to make me tell you which single player meant the most to the Red Sox, I'd take a second to choose between Youk and Pedroia. But I think I have to go with Dustin. Not only is he an excellent fielder, but he supplies a decent amount of power from a historically lighter-hitting position. He also gets on base and, more importantly, scores a ton of runs. Who leads the AL in runs scored the last two years? Pedroia, with 118 in 2008 and 115 in 2009. This doesn't discount Youk's contributions at all. I just think Pedroia's skills at his particular position are at more of a premium.
And outside of the game on the field, he is a locker-room presence that by all accounts keeps everyone loose. God knows he couldn't shut up to save his life and that works well for the team dynamic.
Pedroia will be taking batting practice on Thursday. And that will be the sweetest sight thus far for Boston fans in 2010.