Red Sox: Pedroia’s career bleak with knee concerns

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Dustin Pedroia
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Dustin Pedroia /

The Red Sox second baseman faces a bleak future after his lingering knee issue has returned.

The Boston Red Sox were so elated to see Dustin Pedroia return from the disabled list, they cut Hanley Ramirez to make room for him.

Be careful what you wish for.

Pedroia, 34, struggled at the plate since his return, going 1-11 with a strikeout. Small sample size aside, the veteran has been placed back on the DL with soreness in the same surgically repaired knee that has kept him out this season. After experiencing soreness two consecutive days, the Red Sox placed Pedroia on the 10-day DL for precautionary measurements.

If there was no concern in the organization over Pedroia’s health prior to the season, there certainly is now.

Not only are there concerns about his future, but concerns arise from the inconsistencies of both Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez. Nunez hasn’t set the world on fire at the plate with a .249 average, and has also has been atrocious in the field at times. Devers has struggled with plate discipline (.226 average) and has air-mailed throws into right field far too many times (11 errors). The Red Sox have sorely missed Pedroia’s presence and leadership on the field.

The veteran wasn’t the same player toward the end of last season, and after his long awaited return, has already been slowed by the same lingering knee issue. For someone who gets their uniform dirty by the first inning of every game, lingering knee issues won’t bode well for the gritty second baseman.

Pedroia’s health beckons the question: Is this the last season of his career?

Not everyone has a storybook ending like Red Sox legend David Ortiz did. A retirement sendoff may not be in the cards for Pedroia. A sudden realization has occurred that he may be forced to prematurely retire as his body wears down. Even though Pedroia is an ultimate competitor and his mind is telling him “yes,” his body is clearly shouting “no!”

To make matters worse, the Red Sox don’t have a clear replacement for Pedroia at the moment.

Tzu-Wei Lin is only 24, but he struggled to play himself into a full-time gig with the opportunity he was given this season. Lin only mustered six hits in 32 at-bats after starting out hot from his call up to the majors.

Can the highly regarded Michael Chavis was looking at a September call up to the big leagues, but his PED suspension has pushed back his opportunity to shine in Boston — possibly forever if the Sox feel he’s not worth the headache.

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For the sake of the Red Sox, Pedroia’s soreness better be momentarily or the Red Sox will be in serious trouble. It’s been a smooth ride for Boston thus far, but losing a veteran bat and glove like Pedroia’s will eventually bite the Red Sox against elite competition.