Eduardo Nunez. (Elsa/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- With Dustin Pedroia sidelined for at least the first month of the season with a knee injury, Eduardo Nunez expects to be the Red Sox' Opening Day second baseman March 29th in Tampa.
He'd be the first player other than Pedroia to start the opener since Mark Loretta in 2006.
Thing is, the versatile Nunez is also coming off a knee injury, but he told WBZ's Jonny Miller he'll be ready for the first game.
"One hundred percent, yes," he said. "That's why I missed a week and a half already, to make sure I'm ready."
Nunez has been getting reps and doesn't feel he needs many at-bats to get up to speed. He batted .321 with eight homers and an .892 OPS in 38 games for Boston last season after being acquired from San Francisco.
As for Pedroia, manager Alex Cora said he's progressing well and he's pain-free.
"He's hitting every other day, up to whatever rounds they have, 15 minutes per group," Cora said. "He's taking ground balls ... if everything goes well over the weekend, he'll start his running progression next week. As you guys know, the louder he is, the better he feels--and he's been very loud the last few days. That's a good sign for him."
Sox and Marlins play Friday.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Adam Kaufman reports