It sounds like Pedroia may have a bit of a chip on his shoulder entering this season, which is fine with the Red Sox since he tends to play at his best when he feels he has something to prove. The 5-foot-9 middle infielder overcame the odds to quiet his critics that once said he’d never make it to the big leagues. Not only did he make it, but he was voted as the Rookie of the Year in his first full season and followed that up with an MVP season in his second year.
Now the 32-year old is hearing whispers that his skills are starting to diminish and he can’t stay healthy. All that does is fuel him to prove that his health was the reason behind his declining defensive metrics, but now that he’s healthy he expects to bounce back to the level we are used to seeing from him.
"“Don’t worry, I’m going to be ready to play baseball and be healthy and do all the things that I’ve always done,” Pedroia assures us. “I don’t need anybody to motivate me. I’m to the point now where people say bad things, or people question me, that’s great. I hear it, but that’s not my job to go in the locker room and yell at that person. My job is to help the Red Sox win games, and I’m going to do that.”"
He may not need the motivation of people doubting him, but it won’t hurt him. Pedroia doesn’t let those words bother him any more than he lets defensive metrics tell him what he’s capable of in the field.
Next: Defensive metrics are here to stay