Dustin Pedroia Ready to Benefit From Offseason, Return Healthy to Red Sox Lineup

Dustin Pedroia Ready to Benefit From Offseason, Return Healthy to Red Sox LineupEditor's note: Didier Morais will review each position for the Red Sox for the 2013 season.

For the first half of the season, Dustin Pedroia didn't meet his own expectations.

Heading into the All-Star break, the Red Sox second baseman was hitting .266, an aberration for one of the staples of the lineup. But his slump was also attributed to two separate thumb injuries that hindered his batting.

In May, Pedroia suffered a torn adductor in his right thumb and two months later, he hyperextended the same thumb. The latter setback required Pedroia to endure a stint on the 15-day disabled list.

When he returned from the DL, Pedroia bounced back and lived up to his nickname, the Laser Show. After his activation, he regained his power stroke by drilling nine home
runs — a noticeable spike since he only had six long balls at that
point.

Just when the nightmare season was inching toward its end, Pedroia suffered a broken ring finger with two games left. While he played through the pain, he underwent surgery over the offseason to repair cartilage in his pinky finger.

Despite the health concerns, Pedroia should be ready to go in spring training next February. Of all the question marks on the Red Sox' roster, second base is one of the few spots that is guaranteed to be shored up next year.

Should there be any future injuries to Pedroia, the Red Sox have Pedro Ciriaco or Ivan De Jesus capable of manning the position. Mike Aviles has experience at second as well, but it remains to be seen whether Boston will bring him back.

But over the course of his career with the Red Sox, Pedroia has proven to have a high pain tolerance. And as a result, the three-time All-Star and 2008 American League MVP will continue to spark the lineup.

Have a question for Didier Morais? Send it to him via Twitter at @DidierMorais or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

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