BOSTON (CBS) — When Red Sox position players report to Fort Myers, Florida, one of the loudest voices in the locker room will not be with them. Dustin Pedroia is still sore after suffering a setback last month, and will not be with the team when spring training hits full swing on Monday.
Boston interim manager Ron Roenicke confirmed Thursday that Pedroia will not be with the team for its first full-squad workout.
“The knee is still sore, so the setback is still there. He won’t be here Monday, and he’s just going to try to evaluate what happens here,” said Roenicke. “He’s going to continue to talk to the people in Arizona and [head trainer] Brad [Pearson] to figure out what the next step is and where he goes from here.”
Pedroia has undergone three surgeries since Manny Machado slid into his knee in April 2017, first going under the knife in October 2017. The second baseman has played just nine game over the last two seasons, and most recently, had a joint preservation procedure done on his knee in August 2019.
The Boston Globe reported last month that Pedroia had suffered a significant setback, putting his spring training — and career — in jeopardy.
“He’s a special player,” Roenicke said of Pedroia. “It’s not just the MVP. Just watching the way he plays, the energy he brings to a team. He’s a great player, too, but just doing things the right way; playing great defense, getting on base, slapping the ball to right field when he needs to, and driving the ball when he needs to.
“It was never comfortable on the other side having to face him,” he added.
While Pedroia can’t do much on the field, Roenicke said that just his presence gives the team a unique energy.
“Just having him around is huge,” he said. “The energy level he brings, he is passionate about what he does in the game. He’s feisty and has a chip on his shoulder. All the things you like about a player, he’s got.”
But instead of soaking in the sights and sounds of spring baseball, and helping the Red Sox prepare for 2020, Pedroia will be in Arizona figuring out what is ahead. Seeing a great career potentially come to an end like this isn’t sitting well with Roenicke.
“Whenever you see a great player — age is different. When a guy ages and then he’s not as good, that part is easy to see. But not a guy that has an injury and, because of it, has not been able to perform,” he said. “That part is really difficult.”