Is This the End for Dustin Pedroia?

ESPN – Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has doubts about whether he’ll be able to return this season as he continues to recover from major reconstructive knee surgery in the offseason. Pedroia, 34, returned to the lineup on May 26 but was back on the disabled list on June 2 with soreness in his knee. He is headed to Arizona to continue his rehabilitation treatment.

The Red Sox have not ruled Dustin Pedroia out for the year. In fact Alex Cora even said he expects to see Pedroia back on the field this year, but Pedey himself was much more cynical when asked about his return date.

“I’ve healed quick with every other injury I’ve had. But this is obviously different,” Pedroia told reporters Wednesday. “You can’t risk it. If I come back too early and the graft fails, then that’s it.”

That is scary. That sounds like a guy who is seriously concerned about his ability to recover from an injury. Forget returning to previous form, that is a guy who sounds like he might be done entirely.

It all goes back to the ominous quote from Dave Dombrowski last year when Pedroia injured his knee.

“The problem for Dustin is and will be, he has a bad knee. He’s had it for years. He’s going to have to deal with that and he does…but he has a bad knee that he’s going to have to watch and we’re going to have to watch for the rest of his career.”

At the time it was kind of out of left field. Sure we all knew Pedroia was constantly battling injuries, but I thought they were just an undersized dirt dog getting banged up from various ailments. Turns out it was a chronic knee issue and Dombrowski let it slip before any of the fans in town even realized.

So Pedroia seems to now be in wait and see mode as there’s not really much you can do to speed up recovery from a knee injury other than flying to Germany to get the A-Rod/Peyton Manning special sauce. For now he’ll chill out in Arizona and rehab at his own speed, but I doubt we see him back on the field at Fenway in 2018.

So if he does miss the rest of the year then what are the prospects for a 35 year old coming off a knee injury regaining his form next season? Can’t be great, right?

It’s something we discussed on The 300s Podcast on a recent episode; the days of Dustin Pedroia as your starting second baseman may be gone. Because when healthy, Pedroia can still absolutely mash and is one of the toughest outs in baseball, but therein lies the problem; Pedroia is rarely healthy anymore. Not even including the lost season that is 2018, in the past 3 years he’s played 105, 154, and 93 games. So in the past 3+ seasons he’s played more than 105 games once. Not a great trend.

The best option for Pedroia may be to accept a utility role and even then the Red Sox may be less than thrilled paying a guy $12-$15 million per year to play 75 games. But, hey that contract of 8 years for $110M was a fucking steal at the time he signed it and anyone who says otherwise is just lying to your face. Pedroia can still hit so slip him into the DH role a couple nights a week and maybe you squeak 100 games out of the former MVP. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than the 3 games he played in 2018 (so far).

PS – Let us never forget that Pedroia’s knee injury flared up and has refused to heal since one very specific incident and that was when that dirtbag Manny Machado spiked him sliding into second last year. If you want Machado on this team then you can’t drink from my canteen.

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