The 2018 season clearly didn’t go how Dustin Pedroia wanted it to.

The Boston Red Sox’s longest-tenured player spent nearly the entire 2018 season on the disabled list, save for three games in late May, due to offseason cartilage restoration surgery in his knee and some resulting inflammation. Upon the Red Sox officially shutting Pedroia down for the remainder of the campaign on Sept. 7, the second baseman indicated he would be 100-percent for 2019.

If Pedroia does, in fact, enter next season at full strength, Sox manager Alex Cora has a classy plan in place for Opening Day.

Pedroia has been one of the faces of the Red Sox for over a decade and is one of two players since the turn of the century to have three rings with Boston (David Ortiz being the other). So even though Mookie Betts arguably is the game’s best leadoff hitter, giving Pedroia the first AB of the season clearly would mean a lot to both him and the fans.

The Red Sox open the 2019 season on the road against the Seattle Mariners on March 28. Their home opener (and presumably ring ceremony) will be April 9 against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports