BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox open the 2019 season in just 10 days. But Dustin Pedroia will not be on Boston’s Opening Day roster when they start their World Series defense in Seattle.
Pedroia will begin the season on the injured list, Boston manager Alex Cora announced on Monday. Cora said there have not been any setbacks with Pedroia, but the team is taking a cautious approach with the 35-year-old as he makes his way back from a lingering knee injury that kept him out of all but three games last season.
So when the team leaves for Seattle next week, Pedroia will instead return to Fort Myers to further prepare him to play in multiple games in a row at some point in the near future. Pedroia has played in just four games this spring, and the most he’s played in any of those contests was five innings.
Pedroia was obviously a little disappointed in Monday’s decision, since he feels like he’s ready to return to action.
“They have had to hold me back. I’m ready for Opening Day,” Pedroia told WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “It’s just they’re scared. No one has ever come back from something like this. They want me to make sure I follow the right steps to do that and make sure everyone is 100 percent confident that when I come back, I come back and stay back and not have any issues.
“I feel like I’m ready. It’s just they just want to see how my knee responds when I do that, which I understand. We’ll just go from there,” he continued. “It’s only, I think, a week or something, the plan that they set. If it’s being smart for a week and we make sure I respond great to everything thrown at me then it’s a good decision.”
Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez will likely platoon at second until Pedroia returns to the big leagues. Cora would not estimate when that could occur on Monday.
Leaving Pedroia off the Opening Day roster will allow Cora to carry 13 pitchers to start the new season, and with questions surrounding the Boston bullpen, having an extra arm makes plenty of sense.