Dustin Pedroia had been well on his way to getting back on the field for the Boston Red Sox in regular-season action. But will he be in the Opening Day lineup?
The veteran second baseman played five innings of defense and got three at-bats Saturday in spring training action, and by all indications, seems healthier after undergoing surgery on his left knee last season.
It remains to be seen if the Red Sox give Pedroia a couple extra days of rest after spring training before making his regular-season debut, and the 35-year-old is keeping his eyes on the big picture, according to MLB.com’s Ian Browne.
“I mean, we’ll see,” Pedroia said Saturday of getting the Opening Day nod. “I just got out of the game and I felt great. How it’s gone so far, I feel great. I understand the question but the big picture is I’m trying to play the next three years, you know what I mean?
“If that sacrifices five days or whatever to do that, then we have to do that. We have to do the right thing and make sure that I’m fine long term instead of rush something, something my knee’s not ready for, and then have a problem.”
It’s encouraging to hear Pedroia say he wants to keep playing for multiple seasons after what has been a grind over the past couple of years with injuries.
Even though the Sox won the World Series without Pedroia last season, his presence brings value to the club. Not to mention he is one of the most popular players with fans, who will be rooting for the second baseman to make a run at Comeback Player of the Year.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images