With trade rumors fluttering around the MLB about who’s going where, the Red Sox don’t seem to be worried. The right fielder MVP Mookie Betts is returning with the powerhouse J.D. Martinez who clobbered 43 home runs last year still in a DH/ right field position and Andrew Benintendi in left field. Plus to top it all off, in center field, the Gold Glove recipient Jackie Bradley Jr will be running to the warning track and climbing the stands to catch fly balls for another season. The infield is the same around the horn with Mitch Moreland at first base, Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt at second base, Xander Bogarts at shortstop, and Rafael Devers at third base.
With the 2018 World Series Champions looking mostly the same team-wise, spring training is just ahead and one question floats around the clubhouse and throughout the MLB: What is going on with Dustin Pedroia? Will he be there at spring training? Will he have playing time? Is he worried about his injuries acting up again?
The question was answered back in November for those that may have missed it. In an interview with Red Sox manager Alex Cora, Nicole Yang asked what may be happening with Pedroia and Cora’s answer is promising, “second baseman Dustin Pedroia will bat lead-off in the team’s 2019 season opener against the Seattle Mariners — if the 35-year-old is healthy enough to play.” Even though Pedroia, who hasn’t played an MLB game since May 29, and is still rehabbing from a cartilage restoration procedure he underwent last October and arthroscopic surgery he underwent in July, hopes are rising.
Although Pedroia couldn’t contribute on the baseball diamond, he stayed actively involved throughout the season, texting players, calling the clubhouse, and hanging out in the dugout during the team’s playoff run. He is still signed with the Red Sox through 2020 and has $40 million remaining on his contract.
The pitching staff has a few new additions with bringing Chandler Shepherd up from the Red Sox Triple A team, the Nantucket Paw Sox’s, with other additions like Darwinzon Hernandez, Denyi Reyes, Colten Brewer, Travis Lakins, and Josh Taylor. One of the major concerns for the Red Sox last season was not having enough arms on the pitching roster but adding a few more names to the list has put them at ease in case there is an injury to Chris Sale, David Price, Nathan Eovaldi, Rick Porcello, and Eduardo Rodriguez, or if they want to give them a rest.
Still, an article from fansided.com wasn’t and still isn’t wrong with what they said about the offseason for the Red Sox: “The Boston Red Sox have not had a great offseason. The Red Sox failed to resign any of their core guys and lost some contributors to the 2018 championship team. Joe Kelly, Ian Kinsler, and Drew Pomeranz all signed elsewhere while Craig Kimbrel and Brandon Phillips remain free agents. Boston was able to bring back Nathan Eovaldi and Steve Pearce, two of the postseason heroes, but those were the only notable moves the Red Sox made this winter.”
Though they’ve had a questionable off season and things may not have gone their way, Spring Training is only a few days away and the Red Sox are prepared to hit Jet Blue Park and Fenway Park and defend their World Series Champion Title.