FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Dustin Pedroia understands the Red Sox' decision to hold him back in Fort Myers when the 2019 season kicks off in Seattle. But he certainly doesn't sound like someone who necessarily believes he needs such an approach.
"It is what it is. I didn’t really think about it. I think the whole thing, I don’t think the team was expecting me to come in and look the way I looked," Pedroia said about an hour after Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced his second baseman's return to the big leagues would be delayed. "They just want to make sure they do it right. That’s basically it.”
Pedroia added, "They have had to hold me back. I’m ready for Opening Day. It’s just they’re scared. No one has ever come back from something like this. They want me to make sure I follow the right steps to do that and make sure everyone is 100 percent confident that when I come back, I come back and stay back and not have any issues. ... I feel like I’m ready. It’s just they just want to see how my knee responds when I do that, which I understand. We’ll just go from there. It’s only, I think, a week or something, the plan that they set. If it’s being smart for a week and we make sure I respond great to everything thrown at me then it’s a good decision."
The infielder, who has played in four Grapefruit League games while not appearing in more than five innings any of the contests, pointed out that the delay could be something that only forces him to miss the first road trip in Seattle, Oakland and Arizona.
"I don’t think the trainers and everyone, thought that I would respond well to everything they’ve thrown at me," he said. "That’s why the buildup has been kind of slow but it’s probably a good thing. If this wasn’t me and it was one of my teammates going through this, I’d be like, hey man, relax, take the extra week. It’s not one of my teammates. That’s it."
With the move to not include Pedroia on the Opening Day roster the Red Sox will now carry 13 pitchers for their March 28 game against the Mariners. But that, according to the second baseman, most likely wasn't a big part of the decision.