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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Dustin Pedroia Slated For Hand Surgery, Ending His 2014 Season

In some ways, it's probably good that the Red Sox (63-83) only have 16 games left in the ultra-forgettable 2014 season. Dustin Pedroia has played through numerous injuries seemingly every season in MLB but at this point, even he had to swallow his pride and realize that it was best to get a jump on hand surgery (for soreness his left hand and wrist) rather than aggravate it any further.

Bigger picture: it is pretty scary that this marks the third straight year that Pedroia (who just turned 31) will have some type of procedure on his hands (thumb, pinkie and now this). With his contract extension, Boston still owes him $96.5 million over the next seven seasons. We all love basically everything about Pedroia: his attitude and outstanding leadership ability, the care-free way that he plays, his confidence and above all-world-class skill. I'm not a doctor but it feels like his small body just can't really hold up for a full season given the way that he goes all out on virtually every play.

I just hope that all these injuries don't take too much of a toll on him physically. He claimed this happened during the home opening series against Milwaukee which would explain his down year at the plate: .278/.337/.376, seven homers, 53 RBIs and six stolen bases. He still played Gold Glove caliber defense at second base but the lack of pop in his bat was noticeable especially coming off a great year in 2013: .301/.372/.415, nine homers, 84 RBIs & 17 stolen bases.

This will give him a headstart on 2015 and if the last four seasons are any indication, expect a bounce back year at least in terms of games played. He played 159 in 2011, 141 in 2012, 160 (+16 playoff games) last season and 2014 ends with 135 (he also missed five games with a concussion earlier in September). Similarly for the Red Sox as a team to recover from this disaster of a season, they'll need Pedroia to be healthy and playing like himself.

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