Boston Red Sox: Why the end is near for Dustin Pedroia

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Dustin Pedroia
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Dustin Pedroia /

Just a little over a week after making his 2018 Boston Red Sox debut, veteran second-baseman Dustin Pedroia has found himself back on the disabled list.

Thirteen-year Boston Red Sox veteran Dustin Pedroia embodies what it means to be an underdog. From his early 2007 struggles which led  to a Rookie of the Year honors to end the season to his American League MVP season in 2008, the “Lazer Show” has been a competitive force for the Sox.

Also,However despite what the un-named captain of the Boston clubhouse has managed to add to his baseball resume throughout his career, are Red Sox fans wrong to question his future?

After just not even a full week of action, Dustin Pedroia has found himself once again on the disabled list. This time, according to reports, with left knee inflammation.  This is expected to sideline the four-time All Star for at least four games.

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Sidelined for the first part of the season

It was back in October of last year when Pedroia underwent a cartilage restoration procedure to repair that left knee.  This surgical procedure led to Pedroia missing the first 52 games of the season in what was a  7-month recovery period.

Then came the re-activation of Dustin Pedroia in late March which, according to the Boston Red Sox, was the reasoning for the release of first baseman/ designated hitter Hanley Ramirez. A very questionable decision considering Ramirez’ .380 batting average in the postseason. An issue that the Boston Red Sox and Dustin Pedroia (in particular) have had as of late in their recent playoff first-round exits.

As a matter a fact, Pedroia’s offensive statistics in the postseasons have taken a drastic turn for dilution from his very first playoff appearance 11 years ago.

Dustin Pedroia Playoffs:

2007: .283 batting average, 2 home runs, 10 runs batted in (Won World Series)

  • 2008: .233 batting average, 3 home runs, 6 runs batted in (Lost in ALCS)
  • 2009: .167 batting average, 2 runs batted in (Eliminated in Wild Card Game)
  • 2013: .238 batting average, 7 runs batted in (Won World Series)
  • 2016: .167 batting average (Eliminated in ALDS)
  • 2017: .125 batting average (Eliminated in ALDS)

Since Boston’s deep playoff run back in 2013, Pedroia has failed to record a single RBI while maintaining over a .170 batting average. Perhaps it was the left knee affecting Pedroia late in the season and into October. Nonetheless, Alex Cora and the Red Sox will need a significant increase in production at the plate in order to overcome and escape another quick run in the postseason.

The Bright Side 

Fortunately for Dustin Pedroia, the Red Sox are in need of what they and we as fans are well aware of what he’s capable of doing.

While Eduardo Nunez does fit well as a utility infielder, he’s no starting second-baseman for Boston this season. Nunez is a streaky infielder who already has racked up a pair of errors this year through 47 games. That ties the total of error which Pedroia committed last year, except Pedroia did so in 98 games played.

This get’s into a deeper issue:   Boston’s  infield defense.

Not just Eduardo Nunez at second, but the infield as a whole. A Boston Red Sox infield that ranks 21st in the MLB thus far with 28 errors committed this season. Eleven of which have come from the hot corner played by Rafael Devers. That can be attributed to youth and inexperience as the former Red Sox top prospect is just 21 years of age.

Therefore, he is still learning and growing as a major league talent. However, for manager Alex Cora that sense of insurance to have Nunez at his disposal for third base certainly helps. This goes back to having your 4-time Gold Glove Award-winner at second base where he belongs.

Also, while Dustin Pedroia has struggled at the plate in October for Boston in the past few playoff runs, don’t let it mislead you and overshadow what he’s managed to do when healthy in the regular season.

From the 2013 season thru 2017, Pedroia has hit .297 with 50 home runs, 315 runs batted, and in 647 games played. This averages out to a 129 game season with 10 home runs and 63 runs batted in. A season that we know Pedroia is capable of putting together and exceeding.

Next: Four big reasons the 2018 Boston Red Sox are a different team

As for Dustin Pedroia and Boston Red Sox fans, only time can tell what’s truly in store for the future of  the team’s longest tenured player.