Dustin Pedroia placed on DL

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia insisted that the latest injury to his right thumb is not related to the muscle he tore in the same thumb May 28.

Evidently it is worse.

Pedroia showed up at Fenway Park on Friday afternoon with a cast immobilizing the thumb. He said he will need to wear it for at least two weeks.

The Red Sox placed Pedroia on the 15-day disabled list before Friday night's series opener against the New York Yankees and recalled infielder Pedro Ciriaco from Triple-A Pawtucket.

"I'll be back in a few weeks," said Pedroia, who was injured diving for a ball Tuesday night against the Athletics in Oakland. "It's not like I'll be out all year. Guys will weather the storm. We'll be fine."

The Red Sox issued a statement Friday describing Pedroia's new injury.

"Dustin Pedroia hyperextended his right thumb on July 3, 2012," the team said. "He was examined by the Red Sox medical staff and an MRI was performed. Dustin sustained an injury to the volar plate of his right thumb. Dustin will be treated conservatively with a brief period of immobilization. The previous injury to his right thumb adductor muscle has completely healed. This was confirmed by MRI."

Volar plate injuries often are referred to as jammed thumbs.

Pedroia avoided a trip to the DL with the torn thumb muscle in May, missing just six games, though his performance clearly was affected. In 26 games since returning to the lineup, Pedroia batted just .210, with only seven extra-base hits (one home run) in 105 at-bats.

"Just frustrated," he said. "I healed up from the other injury, I was just starting to feel better and swing the bat better. I dive one time and now this.

"I was able to heal while I played. This is just a freak thing. I dove back for a ball and kind of landed wrong. I didn't feel it till after the game. It's not like I knew when it happened. It's kind of a freak accident."

In Pedroia's absence Friday, Nick Punto was playing second base and Mauro Gomez was making his second start at third. In 71 games in the minor leagues at third base, including just five since 2007, he has made 31 errors.

To make room for the 26-year-old Ciriaco on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox moved reliever Rich Hill to the 60-day disabled list. Ciriaco was hitting .301 for Pawtucket.

Pedroia said he was expecting to be re-examined later Friday. Hand specialists Thomas Graham in Cleveland and Donald Sheridan in Scottsdale, Ariz., also will be looking at the results. Pedroia said he has been told surgery will not be required.

"I don't know who I ticked off," he said. "I'm pretty frustrated by it. You work so hard in the offseason to prevent an injury and get a couple freak accidents in the same thumb, it stinks.

"I'll be fine. I'll produce in a major way this season to help our team. I promise you guys that."