Five Red Sox question marks for the 2018 season
By Rick McNair
The last knee issue is the obvious one and that is Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia led Boston in hitting with a .293 average and was his old self in the field and at-bat until injuries took charge. Should Pedroia have just sat? Probably. But sitting Pedroia only works when adequate replacements are available and on one knee Pedroia is often a better choice than another player on two knees.
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Surgeries take a toll on a player and at 34-years-old Pedroia is entering senior citizenship in baseball years. The knee and the potential for other injuries accumulating may force the Red Sox to sign – and overpay – for Eduardo Nunez as protection. Pedroia is now in unknown status even with a healthy knee.
The Red Sox will have long looks at anyone who can play second base and that could include light hitting Deven Marrero, rookie Tzu-Wei Lin, Mr. Everything Brock Holt and Nunez or someone checked off as “other.” What is known is Pedroia was on the fast track to match his excellent 2016 season and do it both offensively and defensively until Pedroia went down for the count.
PREDICTION: Is Pedroia now on the Bill Mueller track? Mueller simply had two bad pins give out and was finished at age 35. Pedroia is signed into the next decade so the Red Sox do not need another financial bath. Maybe other options exist? First base, designated hitter or even third? I expect Pedroia to play 115 games with anymore considered a bonus.