The latest version of a Dustin Pedroia setback reawakens whispers stemming from last season. They are whispers that the most loyal Pedroia supporters have tried to silence for over a year. The whispers that might suggest Pedroia’s career winding down, due to the nagging issues from his surgically repaired knee.
Yet another setback makes a timeline for Pedroia’s return unclear
News out of the Red Sox camp today proved quite discouraging. After being scratched from a Saturday start in Portland due to knee soreness, Pedroia reportedly suffered a setback after a doctor examined him on Monday. The news is troubling, seeing as the second baseman has already spent a month on the injured list with a bad knee.
At the time of his IL placement, it was reported that this knee issue was not related to the part of his knee that has undergone multiple surgeries. In an at bat in Yankee Stadium, Pedroia “felt something pop,” which led to his eventual rehab assignments up in Maine. More recently, he missed Saturday’s game as more of a precaution, given some general soreness. Pedroia had been rehabbing for a decently long stretch of games. The fact that he has endured another setback ensures he will be out of the lineup for the foreseeable future.
If the latest issue really does differ from past knee injuries, then perhaps there is hope he can overcome it. As things currently stand, however, the signs point negative. Pedroia missed all but three games in 2018 due to that knee, and he fought through those limitations throughout 2017 as well. His former days as a masher and a dirt dog might well be a thing of the past. If he is to return in 2019, significant recovery will have to happen.
Pedroia will have competition for playing time once he returns
The self-proclaimed “Laser Show” has had a fantastic career in Boston, earning three World Series championships, an MVP, Rookie of the Year, four All-Star appearances, three Gold Gloves, and a reputation for laying it all on the line. There’s no doubt that his aggressive style of play has provided many victories. It could also be said that his hunger to play daily through injuries is what is hampering him. With that, the door is creaking open for that playing time to be absorbed.
Michael Chavis currently makes the loudest case to take the spot away, as the rookie infielder has thrown up a torrid .282/.407/.563 line in his first 20 big league games. His versatility to also play at third and first base gives him the edge.
Eduardo Nunez recently returned from the IL and ripped a two-run homer in his first game back. But the veteran has not been overly productive otherwise in 2019. Meanwhile, fan favorite utilityman Brock Holt recently suffered his own setback due to a bad shoulder. His recovery timeline is indefinite.
The Dustin Pedroia setback has been a major cog in the machine that has resumed the franchise’s place as a premiere team. It would be a shame for the knee that he’s had fixed so many times continue to hold him back. If he continues to miss time, there might not be a spot for him to come back to.