Appearing on the Rob Bradford podcast, Dustin Pedroia updated Red Sox Nation on his recovery from off-season knee surgery, as well as his targeting return on Opening Day.
The 12 year veteran underwent knee cartilage replacement surgery a week before Halloween. Following Manny Machado’s infamous late slide into second base last April at Camden Yards, Dustin’s level of play wasn’t what we’re used to seeing. “That’s the difference of having my knee fixed than to when it wasn’t fixed.” Pedroia continued by saying, “I couldn’t hit any miles per hour, I couldn’t make gains because physically my knee was blowing out. I could only get to a point to where I could last a four-hour game.”
Pedey is gearing towards playing a full 162 games as well as any potential postseason run the Red Sox may have. “That is my mindset and that is how I feel. My legs are strong again,” the second baseman purported.
He had this to offer to Bradford in regards to his timetable for returning:
“that leaves me enough time to get to spring training to where I’m apart of it from the get-go and that is all I want.”
How will Alex Cora handle the longest tenured Red Sox? Before he was named the manager in October, the two spoke about the potential of becoming the next Boston skipper after his initial interview:
“It won’t be weird because, to be honest with you, even when I was playing with him he was telling me what to do, How to go about talking to teammates, or playing the game, or seeing things throughout the game. It won’t be weird at all, it’ll actually be fun. It’ll be a great experience.”
Cora spent 14 years in the majors with six different teams before a 2005 trade brought him to the Red Sox. The utility infielder spend three seasons in a Red Sox uniform including 2007, where he quickly took Pedroia under his wing and became a mentor for the young second baseman.
“When I got up to the big leagues his (Cora’s) job was to make sure he taught me how to be professional.” Dustin continued, “he taught me how to play, taught me how to understand my role with the team at that time.”
Following his interview with Bradford, it’s clear Pedroia is oozing with his typical overconfidence by proclaiming that he hopes to be ready for Spring Training on February 19th, when the full roster reports. Will the notion of his return coming much earlier than anticipated, will this deter the Sox front office from making a lengthy financial commitment to Eduardo Nunez or someone else? If healthy, the infield would be set with Devers. Bogaerts, Dustin and Moreland rounding out the diamond.
If nothing else, the podcast appearance offered insight into the friendship that Dustin has with his former teammate/current manager, and how the 2004 second round pick hopes his first season with Cora will be a successful one.