Swinging Back: Dustin Pedroia Taking Offense to Lack of Respect for Red Sox Offense

Swinging Back: Dustin Pedroia Taking Offense to Lack of Respect for Red Sox Offense Pitching and defense — that's the name of the game heading into the 2010 Red Sox campaign.

But Dustin Pedroia wants to make sure no one forgets about those bats.

The second baseman sounded a little fed up with the lack of respect the Red Sox offense has been getting this offseason when he spoke to WEEI over the weekend.

"It gets to you a little bit," Pedroia said on WEEI's Mut and Bradford show. "Every time I'm on the show somebody is
calling asking about that. It kind of gets to you a little bit. A lot
of guys take pride in having good at-bats and doing everything we can
to score runs. We have a lot of very good offensive players. I'm
confident in our team and I'm confident that we're going to be great."

After the team passed on re-acquiring Jason Bay's big bat, they went out and purchased the market's top arm in John Lackey and a
few flashy gloves in Adrian Beltre, Mike Cameron and Marco Scutaro, the squad quickly developed into a pitching and defense-minded team.

But that's not to say this roster can put up the numbers. These additions are known for their leather but can certainly get it done with the stick.

Beltre struggled in 2009, but is lethal when healthy and proved that in 2004 when he launched 48 homers and drove in 121 runs. Prior to last season's debacle in Seattle, Beltre was averaging 25 taters and 88 RBIs over the three previous years.

Scutaro, a career .265 hitter, had a breakout year last summer (100 runs, .789 OPS) last season and his lone goal offensively will be to keep things smoothly moving along at the bottom of Boston's lineup this year.

Cameron will be joining him somewhere near the tail-end of Boston's bat attack and his no-pressure placement will be sure to set the veteran up with ample opportunity to work some magic. In his last four years, Cameron has averaged 81 runs and 75 RBIs per season. Those numbers would be welcomed with open arms in the No. 7 or 8 hole.

Sure, these additions and subtractions (namely Bay's 103 runs, 119 RBIs and 36 homers) don't mold this group into the 2004 squad that plated a league-high 949 runs, but with their balance of speed, power and discipline, this team can generate runs from all angles.

When asked if this lineup can surpass last season's lineup that put up 872 runs (third overall in AL), Pedie was quick to respond.

"Absolutely. The additions we made to our team I think have a lot of guys that will fit well together," he added. "I don't know what the lineup is going to be, but if you look up and down our lineup, guys can find ways to score runs. We can hit home runs, we can steal bases, we can bunt guys over, we can do a lot of things to score runs. You look at other teams' offense, yeah, they might have more power, but one through nine we're going to work the count and do a lot things to win games."

The 2008 AL MVP and 2007 Rookie of they Year pitched in with a team-high 115 runs in 2009 and already has 324 runs scored in just 481 career games. Slated to stick in his usual No. 2 slot in the lineup, Pedroia is eager to see what kind of damage 2010's starting nine can do.

"I'm excited. I'm definitely excited this year. I think it's a
challenge because everybody out there are saying all we can do is pitch
and play defense," Pedroia said. "I think a lot of guys are going
to take that personal and as an offensive unit we need to score a lot
of runs and I have a lot of confidence we're going to do all kind of
good things."