Dustin Pedroia's priority now has to be production

Rob Bradford
May 21, 2019 - 9:51 pm

TORONTO -- So much focus has rightfully been placed on Dustin Pedroia's injured knee. 

But that is just a piece of this very uncertain puzzle.

While Pedroia seems optimistic regarding the health of his knee since returning to his minor-league rehab stint he continues to be presented with another reality: he has to start playing like his old self in order to make this whole thing work.

Working his way back to the majors, Pedroia has discovered the discomfort that comes with both not playing regularly in more than a year and trying to compensate for a new knee and all that goes with it.

"I results, I see the at-bats, there’s still some stuff that he has to work mechanically," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora prior to his team's game Tuesday at Rogers Centre. "Actually I talked to him yesterday about it. He got some videos, some feedback today and he looked at it, and he was ‘OK, I’m doing that,’ so hopefully he can make the adjustments throughout the process, throughout the at-bats and he can get better and better. ... The defensive part is not an issue, just a matter of build-up, and obviously, the at-bats, something he wants keep working at. Keep building, keep getting better. Obviously, that’s something we also want him to do."

While the image in the field has been similar to what we're used to with Pedroia, the at-bats have been off -- both in terms of execution and results.

Pedroia has had to adjust while learning what he physically is working with.

"It’s something we’ve been talking about, the whole team, not only me and Pedroia but (head trainer) Brad (Pearson) and Dave (Dombrowski) "Everybody’s on the same page for this. He understands, he understands. He doesn’t want to be just a guy. He wants to produce, which is the most important thing for him. He wants to be the guy. When he plays every day if he plays when he comes back it’s to produce. He doesn’t take that lightly and that’s why he’s working hard as far as making adjustments. ... As far as mechanics and adjustments, that’s something he knows he has to do and we would like that to happen."

Pedroia ripped a line-drive his fourth at-bat while playing second base for Triple-A Pawtucket Tuesday night, having been retired his first three times at-bat. He finished his night going 1-for-5. It marked Pedroia's 12th minor-league contest this season, and fourth with the PawSox.

In the past two seasons he has seen a total of 24 major league plate appearances, coming away with three singles and three walks.