Posted on September 7, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
It’s official, the Boston Red Sox won’t have the services of longtime second baseman Dustin Pedroia for the rest of the 2018 season. Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced Friday that Pedroia’s knee hasn’t fully healed in time for him to be able to play again this season. The club is hopeful he’ll be ready to go by the start of spring training next year. Pedroia will come along for the ride for the rest of the season and postseason. However, any hope of him playing is officially gone.
The 35-year old had microfracture surgery on his left knee during the offseason, forcing him to start the season on the DL. Pedroia returned to the Red Sox in late May. But he was only able to play in three games until the knee forced him to return to the DL. Pedroia later admitted that his knee wasn’t ready to handle the grind of playing every day. He also had just one hit in 11 at-bats during his brief return.
All along, Pedroia was holding out hope that he could return to be part of Boston’s incredible success this season. Cora shared on Friday that Pedroia had another operation in July as part of his rehab. Pedroia says he’s close to being 100% and being ready to play. Recently, he has been able to do some hitting and fielding. However, he’s simply run out of time to start playing in minor league games and fully prepare himself to play in the majors.
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“We went through all the steps during the whole year … But we ran out of time,” said Cora. “We’ve got to take care of the individual. … He’s OK with the decision.”
The Red Sox, of course, are prepared to be without Pedroia the rest of the season. They acquired veteran Ian Kinsler from the Angels before the trade deadline in late July. Aside from a brief stint on the DL last month, Kinsler has performed well. Since the trade to Boston, he’s hitting .310 with an OPS of .764.
The Red Sox also added veteran Brandon Phillips earlier this week. Phillips joined the club on a minor league contract over the summer and was called up after rosters expanded. He could be an option to play second base in September or in the postseason, as could Eduardo Nunez or Brock Holt.
Clearly, the Red Sox have more than enough depth at second base to get through the rest of the season. However, they surely would have enjoyed having Pedroia’s experience and leadership when the postseason rolls around. While the team has plenty of playoff experience from the past two years, Pedroia is a two-time world champion with the Red Sox. But that’s an element that Red Sox will have to do without this postseason.
“This guy, he means so much to this franchise. What he’s done the last few years, he deserves the respect that we gave him through the process for him to try to come back,” said Cora. “He’s put himself close enough, but not close enough.”