Dustin Pedroia to begin rehab assignment this week
Robert Bouffard - Contributing Writer
Image Retrieved from MassLive.com
The Red Sox are one big step closer to getting their star second baseman back.
Manager Alex Cora told reporters on Friday that Dustin Pedroia could start his rehab assignment in Pawtucket on Monday or Tuesday.
Pedroia’s glove would be a huge help for the Red Sox infield. Eduardo Núñez has started at second for 31 of their 39 total games. While his stat sheet may not show that they need a defensive upgrade – he only has one error and a .989 fielding percentage – Núñez has been shaky, to say the least. Before coming to Boston last season, he had only appeared in 29 games at second in his nine year career. With the Red Sox, he has played in 58 games at the position, including 32 this year alone. So it’s understandable why he doesn’t look completely at home.
On top of that, Núñez is only batting .239 with a .637 OPS, both of which are 16th in the league among all second basemen. So the Red Sox could use a player like Pedroia in the lineup.
It should be fairly obvious why Dustin Pedroia is a much better option at second base than Eduardo Núñez. But just in case, he’s a former MVP, Rookie of the Year, a four time Gold Glove winner, and a four time All-Star. He also has a .300 lifetime batting average.
Age hasn’t seemed to be too much of a factor when it comes to Pedroia’s production, either. Even when he’s not winning Gold Gloves, he seems to make a dazzling play just about every night. Also, he batted .293 in only 105 games last year and .318 in a full season the year before.
Pedroia has spent most of his career batting in the first, second or third spots in the lineup. But you could figure that he would slide right into Núñez’s spot in the bottom third of the order, given the amount of talent that’s already at the top.
Even though there’s always the injury concern that comes along with Dustin Pedroia playing, the Red Sox can still be optimistic and hopeful that he’ll provide some much needed offensive and defensive production.