BOSTON -- Three years into Mookie Betts' major league career, scouts still marvel at how quickly his wrists and hands move through the hitting zone. It's troubling, then, for the playoff-bound Boston Red Sox that their best all-around player is coping with injuries to both hands.
Betts has inflammation, but not structural damage, to his left wrist, a CT scan confirmed Tuesday. He was removed from Monday night's 6-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays in the eighth inning after complaining of "a sharp pain" when he swings a bat.
The Red Sox will determine Betts' availability on a day-to-day basis, according to manager John Farrell, who nevertheless believes the star right fielder could return "in a short period of time."
"I just know occasionally on some swings it just, I don't know whether I turn it, I don't know what happens," Betts said Monday. "Just like a sharp pain. I can't really move my hand for a little bit."
The wrist injury comes less than two weeks after Betts aggravated a bone bruise in his right thumb that he revealed he has been playing through for a while. Betts also missed a game last Saturday in Cincinnati because of a bruised left foot.
Farrell said Tuesday's diagnosis gives Betts "a little comfort" knowing the wrist problem isn't more serious. The Red Sox aren't certain how Betts was injured, although Farrell indicated it likely was the accumulation of many swings.
"Mookie works his tail off, and when he doesn't feel quite right, he'll take hundreds of swings. That's what you love about Mookie," Farrell said. "He's always trying to get better. I think at some point there might be a volume-related thing here that can kind of irritate it. That's part of who he is as a player. That's what makes him so great. I think there's a balance in there sometimes."
With six games left in the regular season entering Tuesday, the Red Sox must balance giving Betts appropriate rest before the postseason and keeping his timing at the plate. Betts leads the team in homers (23) and stolen bases (24) and plays Gold Glove-caliber defense in right field. He has gotten particularly hot recently, going 16-for-51 with four doubles, two triples, four homers and 20 RBIs in his past 12 games.
But a wrist injury could hinder Betts at the plate, especially considering his work habits.
"The fact is, he's out of the lineup and we'll miss him as we did in Cincinnati that one day," Farrell said. "But I think what he also showed was the ability to get back in the lineup quick, and we think that could be a similar situation with this."
In other injury news, infielder Eduardo Nunez was withheld from baseball activities Tuesday after aggravating his sprained right knee Monday night. The Red Sox didn't have a timeline for his return, although they remain hopeful he will play before the end of the season.
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia also was out of the lineup Tuesday after continuing to experience swelling in his troublesome left knee. The Red Sox have been careful about monitoring Pedroia's playing time since he returned from the disabled list Sept. 1, but Farrell said the team believes he will be able to play regularly in the postseason.
"I'm confident that he will because he's going to do whatever is needed or certainly whatever it takes," Farrell said.