ESPN – His name was written in pen on a sign over his locker. His Boston jerseys neatly dangled inside on hangers. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia was back with the Red Sox — if only for a quick visit. He hobbled through the clubhouse Tuesday on crutches, his surgically repaired left knee on the mend.
Pedroia really doesn’t think about hitting so much these days as simply not hurting. He’s hoping the latest surgery on his troublesome knee allows him to throw batting practice with his kids pain-free one day. That’s really the extent of the plans for the 36-year-old Pedroia, who has been limited to nine games over the past two seasons.
Still, he wanted to drop by just to chat with his teammates as they opened a two-game interleague series at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies. Earlier this month, doctors removed bone spurs and performed a knee joint preservation procedure in Vail, Colorado.
Taking the field again? For now, that’s down the priority list.
“It would be nice to not hurt first,” said Pedroia, who has fond memories of Coors Field given that’s where the Red Sox clinched the 2007 World Series. “One step at a time. Hopefully, it works out.”
Before we get into the blog its my responsibility to remind everyone that Manny Machado is a dirtbag whenever discussing Dustin Pedroia. Moving on.
I don’t think many of us necessarily *expected* Dustin Pedroia to play baseball again, but this is probably the nail in the coffin. It sounds like he’s accepted the fact that he’s done and its probably time, but it doesn’t make it any less sad. I’ve held out hope that Pedroia would be able to return to at least a part-time role with the team. That is until I heard Jerry Remy (11 knee surgeries) talking earlier this year about a conversation he had with Pedroia and their shared knee issues.
He asked me, ‘Are there certain surfaces you have problems walking on?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, some hard surfaces.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, I’ve got a floor in my house that I have to have changed because it bothers me.’
Remy added, “At the end of my career, I couldn’t move any more. I knew going to spring training I was done.
‘’I haven’t seen that much of Pedroia in the field this year. I saw him dive for a ball the other day and he wasn’t even close to it. But he turned some double plays. So you can’t make that judgement yet.
“But this is discouraging. Mentally, it’s very difficult to go through. It’s all you think about.’’
Dave Dombrowski basically told us Pedroia was done way back in 2017 when he said this knee injury was something Pedroia would have to monitor “for the rest of his career.” Pedroia then got a knee surgery he was pretty hesitant to get and the Red Sox publicly said the second baseman would be back in 7 months. Pedey returned in May 2018 before going back on the DL in June after just 3 games. Then in July 2018 Pedroia started dropping some pretty startling quotes about how he simply cannot risk coming back too early. Here’s what I wrote at the time.
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…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.
Pedroia was back for Spring Training and we were all pretty excited here at The 300s as No. 15 was ready to go for Opening Day…but only played 6 games before going back on the IL. He publicly stated that his knee “will never heal” back in May and shut down his rehab in an emotional press conference. I was convinced he was going to announce his retirement, but it seems like he wanted to take some time off and give it one more go.
Things sound a lot more myopic now though as this pretty dark update on Pedey dropped the other day. Despite playing in just 9 games in his last 2 seasons, he’s due to make $13M in 2020 and $12M in 2021 before becoming a free agent at 37-years-old. Here’s to hoping Pedroia can at the very least get healthy enough to enjoy his life and then maybe think about playing some ball again, but it seems like that goal is a distant second at this point.