The Red Sox are the hottest team in baseball at the moment, but losing Dustin Pedroia for the season could deal Boston a mental blow.
In seasons past, Dustin Pedroia has been considered the heart and soul of the Red Sox team. Unfortunately for Boston, they may be forced to navigate the rest of the 2018 season without the diminutive second baseman.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora still believes Pedroia will play again this season, but the player isn’t nearly as sure. He’s adamant that he “can’t risk” coming back too soon. Doing so, in his opinion, would cause his bone graft to fail.
He claims it will be another “four or five weeks” before he really knows whether or not he can make it back on the diamond this season.
The good news for Red Sox fans is that Pedroia has missed almost the entire season to date. In other words, Boston has already figured out how to play great baseball in his absence. They currently own a 3.5-game lead over Yankees for the AL East lead.
Even so, Pedroia being ruled out for the rest of the year could deal the clubhouse an emotional blow. In the back of player’s minds, it’s always been assumed that Pedroia would come back and be their emotional leader.
If it’s confirmed he’ll miss the entire year, someone else will need to step up and fill that void.
On the field, Eduardo Nunez has done a reasonable job of replacing Pedroia. He doesn’t have the same upside as the former All-Star, but he’s hitting a respectable .259 on the season.
No one should rule out the possibility of Boston’s front office trying to acquire an upgrade before the trade deadline, but that’s not a requirement for a team enjoying so much success.
For Pedroia, the important thing is making sure his career doesn’t end due to his recent injuries. He may be towards the tail end of his playing days, but he should still have a few productive seasons before he hangs his spikes up for good.