Dustin Pedroia (thumb) doesn't start

BOSTON -- Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia missed a second straight game Wednesday night, but the Red Sox are still holding off on deciding whether the torn adductor muscle in his right thumb will require a trip to the 15-day disabled list.

"Still day to day," manager Bobby Valentine said.

There is still too much swelling, Valentine said, to allow Pedroia to swing a bat at this time.

"We don't want him to," Valentine said. "He did yesterday before we told him not to. He always obeys."

Valentine smiled at that last remark.

An upbeat Pedroia was at his locker Wednesday, sporting two different braces for his thumb. One, he said, he is supposed to wear all the time. The other is for when he tries to hit and was molded specifically to his bat.

"I'll be fine," he said, though he offered no predictions on when he might return.

Nick Punto, who played second base Tuesday night, was back at second base Wednesday. Valentine does not have a middle infielder on his bench other than Pedroia, whom he said could play defense, but Valentine wasn't sure he would use him.

Who else might he use in an emergency? Valentine mentioned the team's catchers, Kelly Shoppach and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

"Kelly Shoppach came down (to the dugout) with a fielder's glove the other night,'' Valentine said. "Salty has taken ground balls."

Does that idea leave him feeling secure?

"Warm and fuzzy all over," Valentine said.

It was relayed to Pedroia that shortstop Mike Aviles had joked that Punto made a game-ending diving stop that Pedroia could not have made.

"I'd have made it standing up," Pedroia said. "I wouldn't have had to dive."

Aviles also said it was "about time the team had a second baseman."

"He's right," Pedroia shot back. "I'm not a second baseman. I'm a shortstop."

Pedroia then endorsed Punto's value to the club.

"He's a professional, man,'' Pedroia said. "He can play anywhere, give you quality at-bats, and he's a tremendous guy."

Punto came into Wednesday's game batting .140 (6 for 43) in sporadic playing.

"Shoot, what's he have, 40 at-bats?" Pedroia said. "I'll bet you 20 of them were against closers. Those guys are pretty tough. He's been great."