Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will open season on injured list
By Sean Penney
Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia will be placed on the injured list to begin the 2019 season but appears to be making progress.
Dustin Pedroia won’t be on the Boston Red Sox Opening Day roster when the season kicks off in Seattle next week.
The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham reports that Pedroia will open the season on the injured list. The veteran second baseman will continue to play in spring training games but will head to Fort Myers while the rest of the team begins an 11-game road trip.
Manager Alex Cora confirmed that Pedroia hasn’t suffered a setback to the surgically repaired knee that wiped out most of his 2018 season. The delayed start to his season seems more precautionary. The Red Sox want to build the 35-year old up slowly and see how he responds to playing in back-to-back games before adding him to the active roster.
The ultra-competitive Pedroia doesn’t seem to agree with the decision to put him on the IL but he acknowledges that he understands the reasoning.
"“They’ve had to hold me back. I’m ready for Opening Day. They’re scared,” Pedroia told reporters, per Abraham. “They want to make sure I follow the right steps to do that and make sure everyone’s 100 percent confident that when I come back, I come back and stay back.”"
Deep down, Pedroia must know this is the right decision. He tried to return last year before his knee was ready and lasted only three games before he was shut down for the rest of the season when his knee failed to cooperate.
Pedroia admitted that if one of his teammates were facing the same situation, he would advise the cautious approach. The big picture is what matters for a team looking to repeat as World Champions so it’s worth missing a week or two early in the season to prevent a more significant setback. It makes sense yet it’s hard for Pedroia to heed that advice when it’s directed at him. He’s the type of player that wants to be in the lineup every day. In the wake of a lost season, Pedroia must be chomping at the bit to play in games that actually count again.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
Pedroia has played in parts of only four games this spring, going 2-for-7 with a run scored. He’ll need more time to not only prove how he holds up under a regular routine but also to find his rhythm at the plate.
The Red Sox will be able to get by in the short-term without Pedroia, primarily using Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez to fill in at second base. They prefer to let Holt roam around to multiple positions in a super utility role and Nunez was a disaster in the field when asked to play second last year. That forced them to trade for Ian Kinsler, who has since left in free agency. It’s not ideal, but they can make it work until Pedroia is ready.
While there’s no clear timeline for Pedroia’s return, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be sidelined for long. Expect a highly motivated Pedroia to be ready to prove himself as soon as he’s cleared to play.