Red Sox Report: Pedroia Pacing The Red Sox
Before the start of the season I chose Dustin Pedroia as a player who needed to step up for the Red Sox. Last season was not a good one for Pedroia as it started with Bobby Valentine calling out Kevin Youkilis which Pedroia took exception, going on to say “we don’t do that around here.” I did not like those comments at first. No matter who your manager is just do not bring problems into the media. When some of the team tried to get him fired whether or not Pedroia was a part of that remains to be seen. Kelly Shoppach and Adrian Gonzalez are gone and so is Bobby Valentine so it is water under the bridge now.
John Farrell seems to be well liked by Pedroia and the team as a whole. Familiarity can be a good thing and anything can be better than Bobby Valentine. Valentine was just a seat holder for a year of bad baseball. At the start of the season when I saw Pedroia penciled in as the number three hitter I was a little skeptical. Pedroia was great as a number two hitter for most of his career, why make a change? For the first month Pedroia hit in front of Mike Napoli with David Ortiz on the disabled list. He got some good pitches to hit as Napoli had a great April as well. When Ortiz came back Pedroia began to see even more good pitches and it shows with his .325 average good for fifth best in baseball. And did I mention he is doing this with a thumb injury that happened on the first game of the season? The seasons that Miguel Cabrera and Chris Davis are having are getting all the attention as either Cabrera or Davis lead the American League in the major statistical categories. If they can keep this roll going they will both compete for the MVP Award but Pedroia should garner some votes as well.
Pedroia is the heart and soul of the Red Sox. Coming up as a small shortstop the team had its doubts and he proved every doubt wrong. He was slow, so he worked on becoming a better base runner and this season has 13 steals and is a part of a speedy top of the lineup with Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino that leads the league in steals. The third hitter is expected to hit for power and Pedroia has a respectable 5 home runs but, it is the 49 RBI that are huge. The Red Sox lead the league in runs and Pedroia is a major part of this offense.
Rookie of the Year one year and MVP the next Pedroia gained a lot of attention and pressure to keep up the pace of his exceptional first two seasons. He is 5’8 and 165 lbs. He does not look like a baseball player but can rake. We will find out on Saturday if he is an All Star starter again as he was behind Robinson Cano in votes. He most certainly will make the team whether he is a starter or not.
Pedroia is under contract for next season with an $11 million option for 2015. He is only making $10 million this season and next and with Robinson Cano hitting the market this off season Pedroia will see a fellow second baseman make a ton of money. Make no mistake Pedroia signed an extension early in his career much like Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz did but Pedroia is the only one to play through injuries and maintain his production. The Red Sox would be foolish to not consider signing Pedroia to another extension in the near future. Pedroia belongs in the infield when Xander Bogaerts becomes a major part of this team.