It has been a tough season for Dustin Pedroia.
The Boston Red Sox second baseman has played just three games this season due to offseason cartilage restoration surgery in his knee. He visibly was out of sorts at the end of last season and since has landed on the disabled list twice this campaign.
Things didn’t take a promising turn Tuesday, when Sox manager Alex Cora indicated that the 34-year-old would head down to a clinic in Arizona to work on rehabbing his knee.
And though things haven’t been too encouraging for Pedroia lately, Cora doesn’t believe we’re seeing the end of the infielder’s career.
During his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “Dale and Keefe,” Cora was asked if he was concerned about Pedroia not being able to play again. The Sox skipper responded with plenty of optimism.
“I think he’ll play, he’ll play,” Cora said. “And like I said yesterday this is more than this season. If for X or Y reason he doesn’t come back this year we know he’ll be back next year. We just don’t want to put pressure on him. There’s years in the contract that we feel that he can perform. … He’ll be fine, he’ll play baseball again.”
Cora also gave a little insight into why the team felt it was best for Pedroia to go back to Arizona, focus just on rehab and get away from the team for a little bit.
“Pedey’s a guy, he loves to be here and he’s so invested in the team and sometimes I feel like — it’s not that he forgets about himself — but he needs time for him, for Dustin Pedroia,” Cora said. “When you’re in the clubhouse, he’s the first one that says, ‘Just take care of Sale, take care of Price and then we’ll find time for myself.’ And I don’t think for him it’s the best thing that can happen.
“So (we’re) sending him out there from probably he’ll be in the clinic from 8-5, he’ll do everything possible to be back as soon as possible,” Cora added. “But away from all the noise, away from the guys I think it’s a lot better. I do feel that he’s going to come back and he’s going to help us out to contribute to what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Pedroia long has been one of the best second baseman in the game both at the plate and in the field, so his presence certainly is missed, even though Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez have done a fine job filling the void.
Still, Pedroia is under contract through the 2021 season, so it is quite clear that the Sox have his long-term health at the forefront of their mind.
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