Dustin Pedroia played 9 games for the Red Sox from 2018 to 2019. He recently spoke and updated his injury status and filled the media in on his 2020 return.
Going into 2018, it appeared as if Dustin Pedroia had a chance to sneak into the Hall of Fame as a Red Sox legend. He posted a nearly 6-WAR season in 2016. He limped through an injury-hampered 2017 after Manny Machado spiked him on a slide at second base.
Pedroia has played less than 10 games over the past two seasons, and two failed comebacks landed him in a slight depression. He said he was contemplating retirement in August of this past season during a series in Colorado.
A more optimistic former 2008 MVP went on WEEI’s Rob Bradford on the “Bradfo Sho” podcast earlier this week. According to Pedroia, the doctor was pleasantly surprised and that now the “goal is to finish what I started.”
"“I know they talked at the GM Meetings, but the first step is for me to be able to live my life normally,” Pedroia told Bradford."
Pedroia had knee cartilage replacement surgery after the 2017 season and failed in his comeback in the 2018 season and eventually the 2019 season. On the podcast, he mentioned that the doctor also said that the new joint will last longer than the old one.
That is an encouraging sign for a 2020 return. If pain can be limited in Pedey’s knee, along with more rest as the DH in the Red Sox lineup, then he may be able to be an 80-110 game contributor. Obviously Pedroia was a great defender, but his Gold Glove days are likely behind him and he would have to be accustomed to slotting in as the DH.
If a comeback of the 2007 Rookie of the Year were to happen, then Alex Cora would have to manage his playing time accordingly in order to not re-aggravate his balky knee. A similar player comparison would be the recently retired, New York Yankees starter CC Sabathia.
Sabathia made 3 trips to the injured list in 2019 and did not perform anywhere near to the caliber he pitched at years prior. Pedroia won’t be able to replicate his great seasons such as 2008 and 2011, but he has a chance to be a solid contributor.
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With the Red Sox demoralized headed into 2020 after missing a 2019 postseason berth, they can definitely see Pedroia as the leader going into 2020. He represents grit and resilience, two traits he has called on his whole career and will need them more than ever if he plans to play major-league ball consistently in the next few years.
"“I’ve been through this for two years, and I know I have a lot of work to do strength-wise,” Pedroia said. “I have to build a lot back up. If I do that, yes, I’ll be able to play baseball.”"
Dustin is set to make $13 million in 2020. With the Red Sox payroll already being squeezed by lack of performance by players on their roster, any contribution Pedey can make in 2020 would be well received.
Overall, this injury update is excellent and opens the door a little wider for a chance at a 2020 return. Pedroia has been counted out his whole entire career and has constantly proved the critics wrong. It would be a cardinal sin to discount Pedroia this time as well because he always defies the odds.