Back in February when Red Sox President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, discussed Dustin Pedroia’s health, he made it clear that the second baseman was no longer a “150-game player”, but he was hopeful that he’d be a “125-game player”.
Playing in only three games in 2018, there was speculation surrounding the health status of the veteran infielder. And to some, that 125-game benchmark that Dombrowski was hopeful Pedroia would achieve even sounded a bit too optimistic.
His last game in 2019 came on April 17th in New York where he was removed from the game following one at-bat when he felt more left knee discomfort. Then during a rehab assignment in late May with Double-A Portland, Pedroia removed himself from the game after he didn’t feel right, according to manager Alex Cora.
Pedroia underwent a joint preservation procedure–his fifth knee surgery–done by Dr. Matt Provencher at the Steadman Clinic and has been rehabbing in his home state of Arizona.
Per WEEI’s Rob Bradford, the 35-year-old second baseman will be with the ballclub for the first time since he left the team in early June.
According to a text he had sent to WEEI.com, he says that the surgery “went really great” and that he will be on crutches for the next two weeks. He also says that “…things are going really good compared to where I was before the surgery.”
Pedroia’s consistent, nagging knee issues are cause for genuine concern over the remaining part of his career. There is a distinct possibility that these injuries hobble him and will no longer allow him to continue to play Major League Baseball which, as we’ve seen over the last two seasons, he still very much wants to do. Although at the end of April, he did acknowledge that his career could be over.
These knee concerns became much more legitimate following his removal from a game in 2017 against the Baltimore Orioles where Manny Machado slid past the bag, driving his spikes off of Pedroia’s knee which the then Baltimore Orioles claimed to be accidental. He then went on to miss 56 of the team’s remaining 145 games.
Pedroia made his season debut on April 7th after starting the season off at the minor league level playing in 11 games between Double-A and Triple-A. He’d only appear in six games before being removed from April 17th’s contest. In those games, he struggled immensely at the plate going 2 for 20, giving him a batting average of just .100.
There hasn’t been much said about his playing future, but the thought of a successful return to the big leagues seems bleak, at least for the moment.