It appears the Red Sox are playing it safe with Dustin Pedroia.
On Monday, manager Alex Cora announced that the Red Sox second baseman would start the 2019 campaign on the Injured List. Pedroia will not join the team in Seattle on March 28 for Opening Day and will remain in extended spring training to continue rehabbing the knee that kept him out of all but three games last season.
According to Cora, Pedroia has been progressing nicely throughout the spring but the team’s priority is to lean on the side of caution. There is no timetable for his return.
“No setbacks. Nothing out of the ordinary,” Cora told reporters. “We feel we need more time.
“He looks, actually, really good. But we do feel if we err on the safe side, it’s going to be a lot better.”
Dustin Pedroia will open the season on the injured list. He will continue to play through the games in Arizona against the Cubs then return to Ft. Myers to continue building up. Alex Cora said there was no setback. It’s a matter of him ready to play multiple games in a row.
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) March 18, 2019
The former 2007 Rookie of the Year and 2008 Most Valuable Player has appeared in just four Grapefruit League games with two hits in seven at bats. He hasn’t played in any back-to-back contests or play more than five innings. Pedroia, who feels he’s healthy enough for the start of season, expressed that while he’s frustrated with the team’s decision, he understands that he must keep his long-team durability in mind.
“They’ve had to hold me back. I’m ready for Opening Day,” Pedroia said. “They’re scared. No one’s ever come back from something like this. They want to make sure I follow the right steps to do that and make sure everyone’s 100 percent confident that when I come back, I come back and stay back and not have issues.”
In Pedroia’s absence, the Red Sox expect Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez to split time at second base, while Tzu-Wei Lin or Michael Chavis may get the call to the majors to replace him.
“I feel like I’m ready now,” Pedroia said. “I’ve just got to build up more innings and see how everything responds. It’s a big test. I definitely feel like I’m ready for that.”