Tag: Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia Injury: Updates on Red Sox Star’s Recovery from Knee Surgery

Following the Boston Red Sox‘s elimination from the postseason, second baseman Dustin Pedroia has undergone surgery on his left knee.

Continue for updates.  

Latest on Pedroia’s Timeline for Return

Thursday, Oct. 13

According to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, Pedroia is expected to be ready in time for the start of spring training after undergoing knee surgery.

Per Abraham, Pedroia suffered the injury in mid-September during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

After injuries threw his career off track the previous two years, Pedroia was seemingly back to his old self in 2016. The former American League MVP hit .318 with 15 home runs, 74 RBI and 105 runs scored, which marked his best statistical season since 2011.

In addition to Pedroia’s offensive exploits, FanGraphs rated him as the second-most valuable defensive second baseman in 2016 behind only Cesar Hernandez of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Pedroia struggled at the plate in Boston’s American League Division Series loss to the Cleveland Indians, as he went just 2-for-12 for a .167 batting average with two runs scored in three games.

While Pedroia and the Red Sox wanted to send David Ortiz off with another World Series championship, the early exit may prove beneficial to Pedroia and his recovery.

He has some added time to rehab and get back into game condition prior to spring training, which means he should enter the 2017 regular season in good health so long as the current timeline holds true to form.

Boston boasts some middle infield depth if Pedroia’s injury takes longer to heal than anticipated, as Brock Holt is capable of filling in. However, early indications suggest that won’t be necessary, which is positive news for a Red Sox team that will need all the offense it can get next season without Big Papi.

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Dustin Pedroia Injury: Updates on Red Sox Star’s Knee and Return

Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is nursing a sore left knee that will keep him out for at least one game. 

Continue for updates.

Pedroia Out vs. Orioles

Tuesday, Sept. 20

WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford relayed the update. 

The fan favorite and franchise icon is one of the most productive and consistent hitters in the lineup nearly every season. Boston is a more dangerous team when the four-time All-Star, former American League MVP (2008) and former American League Rookie of the Year (2007) is playing on an everyday basis.

This season, he’s batting .325/.384/.452 with 13 home runs and 67 RBI over the course of 650 plate appearances.  

Pedroia dealt with injuries during the 2015 season and appeared in only 93 games. It was the first time since 2010 that the second baseman failed to play in at least 135 contests, but he did hit .291 with 12 home runs and 42 RBI when he was healthy.

With Brock Holt away from the Red Sox for two days due to a death in the family, per BradfordMarco Hernandez will draw the start at second base in Pedroia’s absence. 

According to ESPN.com’s Scott Lauber, Hernandez will bat ninth.  

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Dustin Pedroia Has Become Forgotten Star in Red Sox’s Booming Offense

We’ve talked plenty about David Ortiz, for reasons that amount to “duh.” We’ve talked about Mookie Betts, who’s an MVP candidate. We’ve had good things to say about Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr., too. And about the entire Boston Red Sox offense, for that matter.

But Dustin Pedroia is the one Red Sox star we really haven’t singled out yet. Let’s change that.

It’s the least we can do after the veteran second baseman came this close to making a bit of baseball history at Fenway Park on Saturday. Pedroia entered the Red Sox’s evening tilt against the Kansas City Royals with seven straight hits dating back to Thursday, and he added four more in his first four at-bats of an eventual 8-3 win. 

If Pedroia could have added one more hit, he would tie the all-time record for consecutive hits. That was not to be. He ended his hit streak (and his evening) by grounding into a double play in the bottom of the eighth.

But judging from how he heard that he was closing in on history, he’s probably not too shaken up about it. From Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal:

OK, so, Pedroia doesn’t hold a record that’s somewhere below 762 home runs and 511 wins on the scale of baseball importance. Boo and/or hoo.

What he does have, though, is a .320 batting average. That ties Pedroia with Betts for tops on the Red Sox, and it puts him behind only Jose Altuve in the entire American League. That’s pretty good company, and it can’t just be me that feels like Pedroia has joined these ranks out of nowhere.

It’s not that he’s been a bad player. Pedroia undeniably peaked with his American League MVP season in 2008, a year in which he was every kind of great. But he’s been consistently good ever since then. Despite a fair number of games missed with injuries, he put up a .294 average and an .803 OPS between 2009 and 2015, adding three more Gold Gloves to his collection in the process. And this year, he’s been a rock-solid presence in an outstanding Red Sox lineup from day one.

Rather, Pedroia‘s under-the-radar act to this point is more a matter of optics. 

He’s surrounded by players who boast both great numbers and great narratives. Big Papi is a larger-than-life character in any year, and he’s making life look especially puny with a farewell season for the ages. Meanwhile, Betts, Bogaerts, Bradley and, recently, Andrew Benintendi have been cementing themselves as the Red Sox’s stars of the future.

Pedroia is neither a legendary slugger in his final season nor a young up-and-comer gearing up for many great seasons still to come. He’s just…well, he’s kinda just Dustin Pedroia. Same as he ever was.

But while it may indeed be difficult to appreciate Pedroia as a story unto himself, it’s as easy as ever to appreciate him as a player.

If nothing else, the fact that he’s been healthy throughout 2016 has allowed him to be his usual self on an everyday basis. That’s been rare in recent years. However, you don’t go from being a .290-ish hitter to a .320 hitter without at least one new trick. Pedroia knew what his was going to be before 2016 even started.

“He told me, ‘I’m going to use the whole field this year. I’m going to be a better hitter this year,'” Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis told John Tomase of WEEI.com, referencing an offseason conversation. “And he stuck with it in practice. He stuck with it in spring training. And he’s sticking with it now.”

The proof is in Pedroia‘s opposite-field hit rate. FanGraphs had it at 32.9 percent heading into Saturday, the highest of his career. Because visual aids are fun, this leads us to a pretty-looking spray chart from Brooks Baseball:

Matt Collins of Baseball Prospectus posited this could be related to how Pedroia has changed his approach against breaking balls. It’s a fine theory, as Pedroia has indeed been hitting more breaking balls the other way.

These aren’t earth-shattering changes, but they’re really all Pedroia needed to go from being a good hitter back to being a great hitter. He could already work pitchers, posting above-average walk rates and below-average strikeout rates. And his swing itself has always been made for line drives and generally harder contact than you’d expect from a guy who would look right at home in the cubicle next to you.

As the Red Sox get closer to what they hope will be a return to the postseason, Pedroia‘s well-rounded hitting is only looming larger. He was doing fine as a No. 2 hitter. He’s been doing a lot better than fine since manager John Farrell moved him to leadoff on August 10, batting .459 in 18 games. Not so coincidentally, the Red Sox’s offense has experienced an uptick in the last two weeks.

Meanwhile, what Pedroia is doing on the other side of the ball is not to be overlooked.

The defensive metrics aren’t right all the time, but their poor ratings for Pedroia in 2015 did reflect what was a strangely off year with the glove. But this year, he’s once again looking and rating as arguably the best second baseman in the sport.

With all this in mind, let’s check in on the latest Red Sox wins above replacement rankings from FanGraphs:

  1. Mookie Betts: 6.5
  2. Dustin Pedroia: 4.6
  3. Jackie Bradley Jr.: 4.2
  4. Xander Bogaerts: 3.9
  5. David Ortiz: 3.8

He’s not on Betts’ level (few are), but Pedroia is the next best thing the Red Sox have. Getting 11 straight hits has sure helped his cause, but getting it done day in, day out and as good as ever is a much greater influence on why he’s there.

It’s been hard to notice until now, but you know what they say about late being better than never.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked.

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Dustin Pedroia Injury: Updates on Red Sox Star’s Knee and Return

Boston Red Sox All-Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia has returned to the lineup on June 20 after missing three of the team’s last four games after a knee injury suffered on June 15, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.

Pedroia has been banged up at various stages of his MLB career, never quite making it through a full 162 games in any season.

Last year, he missed 27 games, needed wrist surgery toward the end of the season and posted his lowest batting average (.278) since becoming an everyday player in Boston. A foot injury shortened Pedroia’s 2010 season to just 75 games, but he’s still returned to a high level of play since.

The history of ailments doesn’t bode well for Pedroia, though, so it’s ideal that this most recent injury didn’t sideline him for too long.

Pedroia is among the best contact hitters in baseball, not to mention a Gold Glove-winning fielder. The Red Sox will be happy to have his presence back in the lineup as they continue the 2014 season.

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Impact of Full-Strength Dustin Pedroia Would Eclipse Sandoval, Ramirez Adds

Close your eyes, Boston Red Sox fans, and picture Dustin Pedroia. Not the guy who fought through injuries the last two seasons as his power plummeted, but the old Pedroia. The MVP Pedroia.

Stick that guy into the mix, and suddenly the Red Sox’s big offseason acquisitions—Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval—look like second fiddles. And suddenly the Sox look like bona fide contenders in the wide-open American League East.

With the usual spring disclaimers, there’s reason to hope.

Pedroia had wrist surgery in September after undergoing a thumb procedure in November 2013. This spring, he says, he’s finally himself again.

“I feel normal,” he told WEEI‘s Rob Bradford. “I can tell just picking up a bat my hand strength is back. That’s the most important part to me. When you grab a bat, how does it feel? Can you manipulate where you want to hit the ball? It’s all back.”

Want more evidence of Pedroia’s renewed confidence? How about this, per NESN’s Ricky Doyle:

Yes, the exhibition season is bursting at the seams with these “best shape of his life” stories, and many of them evaporate in the heat of summer.

So far, though, Pedroia’s bat is doing some serious talking of its own. The second baseman has collected nine hits in 25 Grapefruit League at-bats, including a grand slam.

“The ability to pull his hands in on a swing that he hit out of the ballpark, that’s a swing that I think we’ve all seen in the past from Pedey,” skipper John Farrell said after Pedroia’s bases-clearing big fly, per Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. “But the number of nagging things he’s dealt with, it’s limited him the last couple years.”

Even with the injuries, Pedroia has been productive. He hit .301 in 2013 and helped Boston win another championship, and last year he collected his fourth Gold Glove.

But his slugging percentage has fallen precipitously, to .415 in 2013 and to .376 a season ago, and he managed just 16 home runs in the two campaigns combined.

Compare that to 2011, when he smacked 21 home runs to go along with 91 RBI. A return to that kind of pop, or something close to it, would turn this already dangerous Boston lineup into a legitimate World Series contender.

Ramirez and Sandoval are the cavalry, the hired guns. And David Ortiz keeps defying Father Time with 30-homer, 100-RBI efforts.

But none of them, even at their peaks, have matched the 7.9 WAR Pedroia posted in that monster 2011 season.

OK, now the inevitable wet-blanket counterpoint: Pedroia turns 32 in August, an age that often portends a downslide. Expecting him to revert to the height of his powers is probably a tad unreasonable, even if we guzzle the sweet spring Kool-Aid.

The projection systems aren’t exactly bullish. ZiPS foresees a .278/.340/.392 slash line with 10 home runs, per FanGraphs. That’s a slight uptick from last year. Add the defense and you’ve still got a valuable player—just not most valuable.

But come on, it’s March. A time for optimism! Let’s split the difference and say Pedroia bumps up to his 2012 production15 home runs, .449 slugging percentage, something like that. You’d take it, right? Boston certainly would.

Pedroia, naturally, downplays the power chatter and emphasizes the Red Sox’s quest to climb back onto the October stage. Last-place finishes don’t sit well in Beantown.

“I don’t care. Numbers are numbers,” Pedroia told Bradford. “We’re here to win the World Series.”

Sure, who isn’t? Then again, Pedroia playing like vintage Pedroia and Boston hoisting another Commissioner’s Trophy aren’t mutually exclusive.

Close your eyes, Boston fans, and picture it. It looks pretty, right?


All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

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Boston Red Sox Players Turning Heads Early at Spring Training

Let’s preface this by stating the obvious: It’s really early. This isn’t going to be a piece making outlandish declarations from a handful of spring training games. Instead, we’ll simply look at which Boston Red Sox players are making notable impressions in the early stages of baseball’s return. 

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Dustin Pedroia Injury: Updates on Red Sox Star’s Hand and Return

In the midst of a horrid 2014 season, the Boston Red Sox might have bigger issues to worry about. Dustin Pedroia, the team’s star second baseman, is dealing with a hand injury that might force him to miss the remainder of the MLB season.    

Sean McAdam of Comcast Sports Net passed the news along from Red Sox manager John Farrell:

Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal had more from Pedroia:

Boston’s official account provides more from Farrell on the situation:

Pedroia has played in 135 games this season, but has battled several injuries throughout the year. Despite the ailments, he still carries a .278 average, seven home runs and 53 RBI during a down year for the franchise.

Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe notes the hand problem has been a recurring one for Pedroia:

As the 2008 American League MVP and a four-time All-Star, there’s no need for the franchise to keep him on the field if he’s not 100 percent right now. Currently sitting at 63-81, the Red Sox are well outside of the chase for a playoff spot.

Despite the success he’s had on the field, Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald notes he has been battling through injuries since 2012:

Not much is known about the length of time he will miss, but it’s clear Pedroia needs time to rest his hand.

After winning the World Series last year, the team still has talent to contend in the future. If Pedroia can rest and return to full health either later in the season or next year, Boston has a true leader and All-Star to help get things turned around.


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Dustin Pedroia Injury: Updates on Red Sox Star’s Head and Return

Dustin Pedroia‘s Saturday night was over quickly as the Boston Red Sox second baseman left early after getting hit in the head by Logan Forsythe of the Tampa Bay Rays.

According to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, Pedroia was hit by Forsythe‘s forearm as he slid into second:

McAdam had more after the game:

Some Sox fans were crying foul on social media, but The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham felt that there was nothing untoward about the play. Abraham added that it doesn’t take much to set off the powder keg that has become the Rays-Red Sox rivalry:

Coming into the game, Pedroia was averaging .281, which was second on the team, along with seven homers and 51 RBI, also second on the team. Taking the 2008 MVP out of the lineup leaves a massive hole in Boston’s offense.

With the Red Sox still mired in last place, though, his injury will have little impact on the standings. The end of the 2014 season can’t come soon enough for Boston.

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Top 5 Fantasy Baseball Disappointments of 2014

Like all fantasy sports, the key to success in fantasy baseball is understanding value. Failure to understand value can lead an owner to mislabel a player as a disappointment, while understanding value can give an owner a late-round steal.

To determine value, you must consider what you gave up when you selected a certain player in the draft. Did you grab an elite catcher early because of the scarcity of that position? Or did you simply draft the best players, regardless of position? 

Jose Abreu, whose ESPN average draft position was 134th (only five spots ahead of Alfonso Soriano), has obviously exceeded the expectations of a 13th-round pick. Yet Yadier Molina and Dustin Pedroia, players considered to be the class of their positions, have vastly underwhelmed. The price paid to grab these players early in drafts has been far higher than their actual production.

For the sake of clarity, the following list of disappointments is composed only of position players. A player can only be considered a “disappointment” if his current ESPN Player Rater ranking is at least 100 spots worse than his average draft position. Also, all players must currently be owned in 100 percent of standard ESPN fantasy baseball leagues. Players who have missed time due to injury, such as Carlos Gonzalez, Jay Bruce and Bryce Harper, are excluded.  

Here are the top five fantasy disappointments as we approach the halfway point of the 2014 season.


Statistics are accurate through June 19 and are obtained from MLB.com, ESPN.com, Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com.

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Is Mariano Rivera Right About Choosing Dustin Pedroia over Robinson Cano?

Former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was revered during his legendary career for his impeccable character, honesty and lifestyle. Controversy never followed the all-time-great closer during a nearly two-decade stint in New York.

Less than a year into retirement, that’s changed. Rivera’s new autobiography The Closer has hit bookshelves across the country. As the New York Daily News‘ Mark Feinsand chronicled, the former Yankees star used his new forum as a chance to voice an opinion on his former teammate and current Seattle Mariners star, Robinson Cano.

More specifically, why Rivera would chose Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia over Cano if the choice between excellent second basemen was left to him. Per Feinsand‘s transcription of Rivera’s book:

This guy has so much talent I don’t know where to start… There is no doubt that he is a Hall-of-Fame caliber (player). It’s just a question of whether he finds the drive you need to get there. I don’t think Robby burns to be the best… You don’t see that red-hot passion in him that you see in most elite players.

Later, Rivera expounded on Pedroia, a star at the “top of his list” of players he admires.

“Nobody plays harder, gives more, wants to win more, ” Rivera wrote. “He comes at you hard for twenty-seven outs. It’s a special thing to see. … If I have to win one game, I’d have a hard time taking anybody over Dustin Pedroia as my second baseman.”

Any player—especially a Cooperstown-bound star and five-time World Series champion—has the right to an opinion on talent, drive, work ethic and on-field baseball acumen. If Rivera truly believes that Pedroia is a better player than Cano, he’s entitled to do so.

However, if the now-retired star is simply using a hot take to sell copies of his new book, the opinion becomes harder to digest. When looking at the Cano vs. Pedroia debate through the prism of on-field performance, it’s hard to see the reasoning behind choosing Boston’s star as the superior player.

As the numbers show, Cano has been a more durable star and far more prolific offensive player since the start of the 2007 season. When factoring in defense and baserunning, the advantage in WAR—using both Baseball-Reference.com’s and FanGraphs‘ calculations—is split, with both players narrowly gaining an edge: 

If there’s one area where Cano is the superior player, it’s in the batters box. When breaking down the Cano-Pedroia debate using solely offensive value, Seattle’s $240 million man stands alone. From 2007-2013, only Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols provided more offensive value to their respective clubs.  

It’s impossible to draw the line between Rivera’s opinion and raw, unfiltered statistics that the former player may or may not have had handy when expounding on the subject in an autobiography. In reality, it doesn’t matter. Choosing Pedroia as a better player is a matter of debate, even if the statistics give Cano an edge.

On the other hand, two aspects of the excerpt paint Rivera in a poor light: The choice of Pedroia to “win one game” and questioning Cano’s “burn” and “red-hot passion” to be the best he can be.

Let’s start with Pedroia over Cano for the purpose of one win-or-go-home game. As chronicled, both players are brilliant, transcendent talents at second base. During the seven-year stretch studied, few players in baseball provided more value in all of baseball. 

Yet, part of Cano’s value is rooted in his durability. From 2007-2013, major league teams each played 1,134 regular-season games. Over that span, Cano missed just 14. In other words, he suited up for an average of 160 of 162 games per season. During that same span, Pedroia missed 149 games—the equivalent of almost a full regular season.

In order to justify Pedroia over Cano, the current Red Sox star would have to be healthy and actually on the diamond in a do-or-die game. Based on how the last seven years have gone, that’s far from a guarantee in Boston. With Cano, playing time is a lock.

Undoubtedly, the most inaccurate part of Rivera’s rant centered around the idea that Cano doesn’t strive to be the best or have the burn to become an all-time great player. For years, Cano’s on-field demeanor has confused baseball pursuits and fans. Because of all-world gifts and talent, Cano doesn’t always come across as a gritty, hustling player, like, say, Pedroia.

Confusing grit for drive is a mistake made by fans but shouldn’t be given credence by a former teammate. When Rivera chose to question how hard Cano works at his craft, he basically admitted to a lack of awareness in the clubhouse that he once policed.

After all, if Rivera had simply paid attention during recent offseasons, he would have been privy to stories of Cano’s winter baseball boot camp, per Daniel Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal:

Cano rousts his pupils out of bed as early as 5 a.m., just as the sun rises over his hometown of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. Most days, Cano wants to hit the track by 6:30 a.m., and woe to anyone who holds him up. His students are universally shocked by the rigor. They are all major leaguers, and they thought they worked hard. Then they joined up with Cano.

“I was like, ‘Wow. When do we finish?'” said former Yankee Eduardo Nunez. “And then he tells me we just got started. And then we did it again. Every day.”

Book excerpts aside, any city would be lucky to have second basemen like Cano or Pedroia. Both are stars, work hard and give their respective teams a chance to win on a nightly basis. Choosing one over the other is a matter of opinion, but facts are vital to forming an educated take.

After sharing a clubhouse with Cano for nine seasons and battling Pedroia for nearly a decade, it would be easy to assume that Rivera had the requisite information to deliver a measured and deliberate response to the great second base debate. Yet in this case, that wouldn’t be a very good strategy for selling books.

Agree? Disagree?

Comment, follow me on Twitter or “like” my Facebook page to talk about all things baseball.

Statistics are from Baseball-Reference.comESPN and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted. All contract figures courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts. Roster breakdowns via MLBDepthCharts.com.

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