It appears as if a knee injury is not enough to keep second baseman Dustin Pedroia out of the Boston Red Sox lineup for the American League Division series versus the Houston Astros.
Pedroia started just 19 of the final 58 Boston regular season games while being placed twice on the team’s disabled list due to soreness, swelling and inflammation in left knee.
Even after returning to the Red Sox lineup at the start of September, the team did all it could to give the veteran second baseman more rest.
However, as the AL Division Series begins on Thursday, Pedroia insisted that he never worried he would not be able to play during the postseason for a team that always believed it would reach the playoffs.
Pedroia’s presence in Boston lineup for Thursday’s Game 1 was not always a sure thing. Just a week ago, he sat out two straight games versus Toronto due to his knee swelling again.
President of baseball operations with the Red Sox Dave Dombrowski said recently that Pedroia’s situation will have to be managed for the remainder of the second baseman’s career.
When manager John Farrell was asked about his second baseman’s health, he said Pedroia was healthy enough, which is not that confident of a diagnosis.
Boston is not sure about Pedroia’s ability to remain in the lineup and is considering keeping Deven Marrero on its playoff roster as another middle infielder.
Farrell is not just worried about Pedroia’s health. Eduardo Nunez acquired midseason by the Red Sox is versatile as he can play almost anywhere in the infield, but he too has been nagged by a sprained right knee ligament.
Pedroia is Boston’s longest tenured player. He started having more problems with his right knee in April. Pedroia missed three games after a hard slide by Baltimore slugger Manny Machado.
However, his knee problems persisted and he was placed on the DL July 29.
He returned 10 days later, but his knee swelled again after just one game and he returned to the DL and missed three weeks.
Pedroia has credited the training and medical staffs with Boston for all the work they have done to get him ready. He does not like speaking about the specifics of his program for conditioning, but alluded to changes made between his stints on the DL to help maintain as much strength in his knee as possible to make sure he was ready for the playoffs.