BOSTON (CBS) — With Dustin Perdoia set to start the season on the disabled list, the Red Sox were in need of a starting second baseman for Opening Day.
New manager Alex Cora has found his man.
As expected, Eduardo Nunez will be manning second base when the Red Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on March 29, Cora announced on Thursday. The 30-year-old infielder (who can play just about any position on the diamond) didn’t sign with Boston until Feb. 18 after spending much of the offseason recovering from his own knee injury, but could prove to be a valuable player to the Red Sox in the upcoming season.
Nunez hit .321 with eight homers in 38 games with Boston last season after being acquired from the San Francisco Giants in July, and slashed .313/.341/.460 with 12 homers and 33 doubles in 114 games in 2017.
He got his first start in Grapefruit League action this spring on Thursday, playing second and batting second in the lineup. Nunez went 0-for-2 with a groundout and a strikeout in his first two at-bats.
Pedroia underwent surgery on his left knee during the offseason and isn’t expected to return until late-April or early-May.