The 2017 Red Sox season has been over for less than three weeks, and we’re already getting our first tidbit of bad news about next season. After a season mired with DL time (29 days combined) for left knee inflammation, Dustin Pedroia had surgery for cartilage restoration today. While the surgery apparently went very well, his seven-month recovery time will overlap with the start of the 2018 season. The beloved second baseman will hopefully be well enough to play by May.
Pedroia also had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee last October, and at the age of 34, the health issues are starting to stack up as his stats fall. This isn’t the same Dustin Pedroia who played the entire 2013 season with a UCL injury. He went 2-for-16 in the postseason, batting a miserable .125. His regular season wasn’t stellar, either, averaging .293 with a .760 OPS, 7 HR, and 62 RBIs. By comparison, in 2016 he averaged .318 with a .825 OPS, 15 HR, and 74 RBIs.
Now, I’m someone who isn’t good with change, especially when it comes to my baseball players. A year out, I’m still nowhere near being okay with Papi’s retirement or the fact that there are no longer any 2004 players on this team. So losing Pedroia, the last link to 2007 and our veteran player would be tough. It will also mean we need to find a viable replacement.
Too bad baseball doesn’t do the whole player-manager thing anymore a la Babe Ruth; new Red Sox skipper Alex Cora used to be our utility infielder and played second when Pedroia himself was coming up.
*AP Photo/Michael Dwyer