BOSTON (CBS) — After landing on the 60-day injured list following his latest injury setback, Dustin Pedroia is stepping away from baseball indefinitely.
The 35-year-old admitted that his left knee will never fully heal and he’s not sure if he’ll ever be able to play baseball again, but he has not considered retirement at this point. Now that he’s had two different rehab stints halted this month, he’s going to take some time to consider of all his option.
While many fans have wondered if the end was near for Pedroia several time over the last two years, that thought has never really crossed his mind. He’s always been adamant that he’d one day be back out there as the everyday second baseman of the Boston Red Sox.
But on Monday, it sounded like the 2008 AL MVP and three-time World Series champ was considering that possibility.
“A little reflection, that’s what I need,” Pedroia said Monday afternoon at Fenway Park. “I need to go home, chill out and see how everything responds.”
Pedroia will be with the team this week, but will head home to spend time with his family after Boston’s weekend series with the New York Yankees.
“Some days I feel fine, and then an hour later it’s like I can’t even … walking is tough,” he admitted. “Time will give me the right answer of if my knee can do this.”
Pedroia took himself out of the Portland SeaDogs lineup after just four innings Friday night, and was scratched from Saturday’s game after the pain in his knee became too much to handle.
“The last game I played, the pain was to a point where I had to tell the trainer, ‘Listen, I have to come out.’ It was a tough day,” he said. “I knew I’d have tough days, but the next day I woke up and it wasn’t any better. It’s to a point now where my knee is not allowing me to play every day. It has taken a while to realize that. I’ve tried so many things from braces to orthotics to rehab methods to seeing different doctors to every type of treatment possible. I’m at a point right now where I need some time. That’s where my status is.”
Pedroia began the season on the injured list and played in just six games for Boston before he was back on it again. He has played just nine Major League games since undergoing cartilage restoration surgery after the 2017 season.
Boston manager Alex Cora applauded Pedroia’s hard work during his rehab and noted that he’s a special person, which he first noticed as a player back in 2006.
“The attention to detail, going out and winning on a daily basis caught my attention. 2007 was very special for both of us, not just on the field but off the field. I love his family, he loves my family,” explained Cora. “I do care about Dustin as a player, but I care most about Dustin the person. We’ve been talking a lot the last few days, and for him to disconnect from the grind for a little bit is not only the best for him but the best for his family.”
Cora said that Pedroia is still has a major impact on the team, even if he isn’t playing.
“He’s been very helpful for us as a coaching staff, the way he sees the game,” said Cora. “Regardless if he was playing or not, he was there last year. He’s one of the best and I really love him.”
Red Sox president of baseball ops. Dave Dombrowski said Pedroia is a Boston legend, in the same light as David Ortiz and Pedro Martinez. Pedroia even joked that he’s just a FaceTime away if the team needs a pep talk during his time away.
Moving Pedroia to the 60-day injured list allows Boston to free up his roster spot. He is under contract with the team for two more seasons, so chances are a retirement announcement won’t be coming anytime soon. But it certainly sounds like the end is closer to becoming a reality for Dustin Pedroia.