Red Sox: Most recent setback may force Dustin Pedroia to wave the white flag

BOSTON, MA - MAY 16: Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox talks with Red Sox Manager Alex Cora before the game against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park on May 16, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 16: Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox talks with Red Sox Manager Alex Cora before the game against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park on May 16, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s latest injury setback on his Portland rehab assignment may force him to hang up the cleats.

Injuries are the one thing that can derail an athlete’s career and propel another’s. We’ve seen it many times in Boston sports. Heck, it’s the reason our football team has six championships in a two-decade span.

Injuries can sideline fan favorites, or in some cases, they can impose the ultimate doom and end careers. That last scenario may be what we have with the Red Sox’s beloved second baseman, Dustin Pedroia.

You’d never think that the heart and soul of a ball club, a man that has the kind of accolades and respect from his peers that Pedroia does, to have a career cut short, but the book closes on all athlete’s careers at one point or another.

A 3-time World Series champion, 2008 American League MVP, Rookie of the Year, Silver Slugger, 4-time Gold Glove winner, and a 4-time All-Star to go along with one of the most passionate and fiery attitudes baseball has ever seen. Pedroia defintely has the resume for a call to Cooperstown, but does he have enough left in the tank for a call back to the Major Leagues? Well…

The past three seasons alone, Pedroia has suited up for just 114 games. In 2017, he hit .293 in 105 games, and in the past season and a half, he’s played in just 9 games in which he picked up a measly three hits. Not the best numbers, and recently it seems like he just can’t find his way back on the field.

Friday night during a game on his Double-A rehab assignment in Portland, Pedroia  was yanked after just four innings.

Upon first glance, it appears like that’s the same thing that happened in Boston that prompted the Red Sox to send Pedroia on this rehab assignment in the first place. It was back when the ‘Laser Show’ was vying for a return to the everyday lineup when he tweaked the surgically repaired knee that sent him spiraling back to the minors.

On the flip side of the unfortunate injury situation to one of Boston’s most recognizable faces, a healthy Pedroia would pose a problem depth wise. Michael Chavis is white-hot right now and too good to send down, hitting .277 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI. Then you throw Eduardo Nunez and a returning Brock Holt (eye) into the fold, who’s the odd man out?

Chavis has secured the job for the time being until his production starts to prove otherwise. Nunez has been with the club all season, so it seems unfair to throw him under the bus for a guy that isn’t even an everyday player and an aging second baseman that’s standing on his last legs. But, how much faith does Alex Cora have in Pedroia? We don’t really know.

There’s a lot of ways the cookie could crumble here, but one thing is for sure: if and when all four of those players are healthy, not all of them will stay on the 25-man roster.

Could Dombrowski look to trade Pedroia or Nunez for some bullpen help? This is another option that is certainly possible, as relief pitching has been hard to come by and backed Cora and the Red Sox into a corner on more than one occasion late in games this season.

It’s hard to swallow, but Pedroia could very well call it quits if he doesn’t want to deal with more injury setbacks. He’d be leaving a lot of money on the table, giving up $15 million this season and $25 million over the next two years which would take him until his contract expired in 2022 at 38 years of age.

Perhaps not a move Pedroia wants to make, regardless of the money. No athlete wants to admit they don’t have it anymore. However, at what point does this continuous cycle wear Pedey down? That remains to be seen.

As a fan base, it’s tough to watch a man that’s given his heart and soul for this organization struggle like this, because we all know what he’s capable of when healthy, and we obviously know how bad he wants to help the Red Sox win baseball games. It just comes down to a matter of will he ever get back to that point again.

Next. Devers working on becoming "complete player". dark

An ominous future looms for Pedroia, but it’s not over until it’s over. Unfortunately, he might not have a say in the matter this time around. What do YOU think Dustin Pedroia’s future holds? Let us know in the comments.