Dustin Pedroia still can't swing

BOSTON -- The Red Sox played a third straight game Thursday without second baseman Dustin Pedroia, and manager Bobby Valentine hinted that the team is leaning toward placing him on the 15-day disabled list because of a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb.

"Not necessarily," Valentine said Thursday when asked if he expected the team would continue to play short-handed this weekend in Toronto. "We are taking it day by day, we have a plan but we aren't going to put the plan in until we feel we need to.

"I expect before the weekend is over we will have another infielder, but maybe not."

The most likely candidate to be added to the team, it would appear, is Pawtucket infielder Pedro Ciriaco, currently playing shortstop for the PawSox in the absence of Jose Iglesias, who missed a sixth consecutive game Thursday with lower back pain.

But that is only if Pedroia is placed on the DL, which the team has held off on doing. Pedroia has not yet taken any swings with the specially molded brace the team made for him, because the swelling in his thumb has not yet subsided sufficiently.

"The swelling is down more," Valentine said, "and he is a little louder. But he is better, a little better. I think he could play defense, he has that mold where he could swing the bat, but I'm not planning on that."