Red Sox's Pearce to start season on injured list

MESA, Ariz. -- Boston Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce will start the season on the injured list, second baseman Dustin Pedroia will start in the Red Sox's spring training finale against the Chicago Cubs and right-hander Rick Porcello survived a scare after getting hit in the head by a line drive on Monday.

Pearce to start on the injured list

Pearce, the 2018 World Series MVP, left an exhibition game last weekend due to discomfort. Boston manager Alex Cora told reporters Monday that Pearce is going to start the season on the injured list and right-hander Sam Travis will start in his place.

"He's been swinging the bat, he plays first, he's a right-handed hitter," Cora said of Travis. "It seems like we're going to face a lot of lefties on the West Coast. Having a right-handed bat would help us out."

Pearce, also a right-handed hitter, normally platoons with lefty-hitting Mitch Moreland at first.

"It's just a matter of how [Pearce] feels moving around," Cora said earlier Monday. "We're not going to push him. We have to be smart about this. Just to push him out there because it's Opening Day makes no sense for what we're trying to accomplish."

The defending champions begin the season Thursday in Seattle against the Mariners.

Porcello survives a scare unscathed

During Monday's spring training game against the Cubs, Porcello was hit by a Willson Contreras line drive on the side of his head in the second inning and stayed in the game.

Porcello said after the game that all the concussion tests were negative. He said he felt no ill effects and even threw in the bullpen after his outing.

When he was hit, trainers and manager Alex Cora came out to the mound to check up on him. Porcello said something that made them all laugh, and they left the mound.

Pedroia to start

Pedroia will start Tuesday in the spring training finale against the Cubs. He was limited to three games last season after undergoing a microfracture procedure and cartilage replacement in his left knee in October 2017.

The 35-year-old Pedroia hosted Red Sox players and coaches Sunday night at his home in the Phoenix area.

"He's in a good place," Cora said. "I was joking with him because for that kid who played in Anaheim in his first big league game in 2006, I still remember he was 5-(foot-)6, chubby. He hates that I say that, but he was. To see the house he has, I'm like, 'Wow. You did well, bro. What a story, you should write a book.' It was amazing. Obviously, in this environment, you go to some nice houses. They should do that show again -- 'Cribs' -- and go to Pedroia's."

How important would it be for the Red Sox to get a healthy Pedroia back?

"It's good," Cora said. "Forget the player -- for him to be happy, that's the most important thing. Last year, he was great for us in the clubhouse, he was a leader, he was another coach. He still can play. You see him on a daily basis and he's smiling a little more, he's talking again, he's loud. When he's loud, he's in a good place. We're very happy with the progression.

"Whenever he comes back, I know he's going to contribute," Cora added. "We can't get too excited. We have to be patient. We have to be disciplined with this."

Game notes

The Red Sox plan to set the order of their rotation after David Price's exhibition start Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs. Price might pitch one inning and that could be enough," Cora said.

"He feels good right now," the manager added. "If he feels like pitching one inning tomorrow is enough, that means he'll probably pitch in Seattle early."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.