Red Sox Dustin Pedroia’s Health Will Impact Offseason Moves


If the Boston Red Sox are going to make any moves this offseason, they have to make sure their guaranteed players are healthy.

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Second baseman Dustin Pedroia spoke with Rob Bradford of about the injury that kept him out of the lineup for most of the 2015 season. Pedroia said, “Basically, I slipped and hurt the back part of my hamstring, like the back of my knee. The lower part where it attaches. The biceps femoris […] I went and got an MRI and it was a 2 ½ . It was black and blue for about 10 days.”

Pedroia added, “It was one of those things where I probably should have waited longer, but I was cleared by our guys to go. I think I played six games and it was starting to get black and blue again, so we did another MRI and they shut me down.”

At the age of 32, and costing the Red Sox another $85 million until 2021, the move to keep Pedroia off of the field until he was 100% made much more sense. Even if that meant making him wait until 2016.

The Red Sox finished in last place in the American League East division, with more issues on the team than just missing their All-Star and former A.L. MVP second baseman. The team was in disarray, having to deal with Hanley Ramirez‘s list of injuries in left field, Pablo Sandoval‘s ‘dehydration’ issues, a starting rotation that couldn’t stay healthy or consistent until August, and a bullpen that kept giving up any leads that they actually earned.

Why should they have rushed Pedroia back to that mess?

Sometimes players can be their own worst enemy. A leader like Pedroia sees his team struggling and wants to contribute. That’s nice, but the reality is that he could only give the Red Sox 93 games. He had 381 at-bats, 12 home runs, and 42 RBIs with a slash line of .291/.356/.441. Those are great numbers, considering that they were done with a broken body. Imagine what Pedroia would have done if he was back completely healthy.

That’s what Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has to do, now.

Dombrowski is going into the winter meetings with the hope that Pedroia’s body will finally heal. It likely will, but the doubt that could play into the exec’s mind could be a problem. If Pedroia were to get injured again in the offseason to the same area, it would take another set of months for him to heal properly, which may float right into spring training.

Brock Holt did an exceptional job filling in for Pedroia, as well as other positions, to earn him a spot on this year’s A.L. All-Star team, but would Dombrowski think of him as a full-time replacement again, if needed? Holt’s value as a utility player could motivate the president to make a move, either from outside the organization or from within.

Yoan Moncada had an exceptional year in Class-A Greenville, but the hottest prospect in the Red Sox minor system would still need time to prove himself, at least against Triple-A pitching.

Either way, Pedroia’s health is a huge issue. As long as he treats himself well, or even uses Nerf-like protection against possible injuries, he should be perfectly fine to resume his role as one of the leaders of the team on and off of the field. However, if he doesn’t, nobody would want to be in Dombrowski’s seat and have to ponder the situation concerning one of Boston’s most beloved players of all time.

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