Dustin Pedroia can comprehend why the Boston Red Sox are placing him on the injury list to start the season.
But that doesn't mean he has to agree with it.
Shortly after Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced Monday that Pedroia won't be on the Opening Day roster as he rehabs a knee injury, the second baseman offered his side of the story.
"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 told reporters Monday in Fort Myers, via WEEI.com. "They just want to make sure they do it right. That’s basically it."
Pedroia appeared in just three games last season after undergoing cartilage restoration knee surgery in October 2017. The Red Sox have played it safe with the 35-year-old this spring, limiting him to four Grapefruit League games and five or fewer innings in each of those contests.
Pedroia may argue the club is being a little too cautious.
"They have had to hold me back. I’m ready for Opening Day. It’s just they’re scared," Pedroia added.
"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."
Boston has the luxury of not rushing Pedroia, as Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez can split time at second base in his absence. Whether the 14-year veteran still has good baseball in him remains to be seen, but he at least wants a chance to prove himself as soon as possible.
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