Dustin Pedroia: Are You Ready?


The Boston Red Sox may have made big moves, this off-season, but one of the biggest impact players in 2015 will be someone whom they already had. While free agents and trades have covered the headlines, one name has stayed under the radar, until now: Dustin Pedroia shall return.

The second baseman has completely recovered from surgery on his left hand, and he is ready to make Red Sox Nation and the American League remember his name, again. In an interview with MLB Network Radio, this week, manager John Farrell said, “Our most recent conversation was yesterday, and [Pedroia’s] been cleared from a physical standpoint to resume all baseball activities. Strength has been regained completely from the surgery” (Ian Browne, MLB.com).

Red Sox fans are delighted to hear that their 2008 AL MVP will be returning to his form. It was a tough 2014 campaign, after winning the World Series the year before. In 135 games, Pedroia hit a career low of .278, with 53 RBIs. The injury affected his swing, bringing down his slugging percentage to .376, the lowest it has been in eight seasons (now .444 for his career). Farrell said, “to have him pain-free or without restrictions, we feel like there’s going to be a return to the ability to drive the baseball like he’s done in the past”(Ian Browne, MLB.com). If that is the case, the four-time all-star will soon make an argument for his fifth appearance in July.

The 31-year-old, California native may have had a dip in his offensive numbers, but he still salvaged his fourth Gold Glove award, last season. The well-documented tenacity of Pedroia drives him to be one of the best players in Red Sox history, especially at second base. In 2013, Andrew Martin of BleacherReport.com ranked Pedroia second only to Hall-of-Famer Bobby Doerr as the best Red Sox second baseman. Doerr was a nine-time all-star, who hit .288 with 223 home runs and 1247 RBIs in 14 seasons, all with Boston. “He was one of the best defensive second basemen in the game during his career, leading the American League five times in double plays and four times in putouts and Range Factor”(Martin).  Pedroia may also be an incredible player on defense, but with 106 home runs and 588 RBIs, he has some catching up to do.

That is the exact desire Red Sox fans will want to see out of Pedroia. His recent deal signed him through 2021, paying him over $96 million for the next seven seasons. If he can produce like he has throughout his career, maybe the statue of Doerr, with Johnny Pesky, Dom DiMaggio, and Ted Williams will have another second baseman keeping them company. With his competitive drive and team leadership, Pedroia may fit the mold.