Boston Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce will start the 2019 season on the 10-day injured list because of a lingering calf issue, manager Alex Cora announced Monday, according to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
Pearce had accompanied the Red Sox to Arizona for their final exhibition games, but Cora said he'll now return to the team's Florida complex to continue treatment, according to NESN's Guerin Austin.
It's possible that Pearce's absence will be abbreviated, as the Red Sox can backdate his injured list stint to minimize the time he'll have to miss, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.
The reigning World Series MVP played only seven Grapefruit League games before suffering the injury. He hit just .176 this spring but did swat two home runs.
Pearce joined the Red Sox in the middle of last season and provided a jolt to their offense by hitting .279/.394/.507 with seven homers, 26 RBIs, and 22 walks over 50 games down the stretch while platooning at first base with Mitch Moreland. He followed that up by hitting .333 with three homers in the World Series, including a two-homer performance in the clinching Game 5.
The veteran re-signed with Boston on a one-year deal this offseason. It was expected he would once again serve as the right-handed half of a first-base platoon alongside Moreland.