FORT MYERS, Fla. — Dustin Pedroia arrived at JetBlue Park this morning and took questions from a gaggle of reporters.
The most newsworthy item was that Pedroia's left thumb is feeling good. He tore the ulnar collateral ligament in that thumb on Opening Day last season when he dove into first base against the Yankees.
Pedroia had surgery on Nov. 13 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
"It feels good to have some hand strength back," said Pedroia, who is under no restrictions and took batting practice in the cage after he spoke.
This is a significant development for the Red Sox. Pedroia was an All-Star last season and obviously played a huge role in helping win the World Series. But he had a .415 slugging percentage, the lowest of his career.
Pedroia averaged 16 home runs from 2008-12 but was limited to nine last season. If he can stay healthy, it's reasonable to think he could have a better season than he did last year.
Pedroia said repeating as champions is the hardest task for any team but believes this Red Sox team has the talent to make another run.
Check out the Globe tomorrow for much more on Pedroia.