Red Sox

Dustin Pedroia retiring? Not so fast, say Red Sox

Dustin Pedroia retiring? Not so fast, say Red Sox

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When last we heard from Dustin Pedroia, the former MVP sounded like someone who recognized his career was winding to an end.

Persistent knee issues had limited him to just nine total games in 2018 and 2019, and when he shut it down this past Memorial Day, it seemed unlikely we'd see him in a Red Sox uniform again for anything more than a sendoff.

"I haven't sat down and thought about retirement," Pedroia said. "I just know that right now I need a break from the everyday stresses and dealing with what I'm dealing with. . . . I think time will give me the right answer of if I can do this."

While it still seems unlikely that Pedroia returns, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and general manager Brian O'Halloran refused to rule it out at Monday's GM meetings, even noting that Pedroia has been encouraged.

"Every indication I've gotten is that he's feeling good and intending on playing," Bloom said.

The Red Sox brass hopes to meet with Pedroia, an Arizona resident, this week. O'Halloran noted that the passage of time has altered Pedroia's perspective.

"I think perhaps how he feels about things has changed since it was pretty raw at that point (in May), the time you're talking about," O'Halloran said. "He's been working out and doing well by his own account and we're going to talk to him and learn more. I don't think that anything specifically changed. I think it's more that time has passed and he's been feeling better."

That said, can the Red Sox count on Pedroia to play a role in 2019? While it would be wise to progress on the assumption that he won't play -- former president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski left himself in a hole last year by proclaiming he believed Pedroia could appear in 125 games -- they're certainly not sweating that keeping him active means eating a roster spot.

"I would never think of it as a problem to have Dustin Pedroia on our 40-man roster and be concerned about planning around him, no," he said. "So it's good to have him on our roster and hopefully he continues to progress and is in the mix."

Pedroia still has two years and $25 million remaining on the eight-year, $110 million extension he signed in 2013.

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Red Sox can forget about 2020 playoffs if offense doesn't escape its drought

Red Sox can forget about 2020 playoffs if offense doesn't escape its drought

The Red Sox aren't going to win with pitching. We've known this since February. We did expect them to slug their way to victories, though, which means they can say goodbye to the playoffs if they don't escape their current offensive drought.

Since scoring 13 runs on opening night against the Orioles, the bats have powered down. The Red Sox have scored just 26 runs in their last eight games, an average of barely three a game, while falling to 3-6 and into last place in the AL East.

Saturday's 5-2 loss to the Yankees was typical of their recent play. Zack Godley allowed a grand slam to put the Red Sox in an immediate 5-0 hole, and the demoralized offense mustered only six hits. The Red Sox put multiple runners on base in just two innings -- the third, when they scored their two runs, and the ninth, when Andrew Benintendi struck out with runners on the corners to end it.

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"I know we got down right away, 5-0, but our offense isn't catching up," manager Roenicke Roenicke said. "We got the two runs, made it 5-3, and then we didn't do much. So with what I feel about our guys, we need to get guys clicking right because we know as a group, when you look at this lineup it is a very good lineup. So the pitching really, even (Friday), the pitching was good enough for us to win games and today same thing."

In a perfect world, limiting the potent Yankees to five runs in each of the first two games of the series would be enough at least to split. But it's the big guns who are failing to deliver.
Benintendi won't be long for the leadoff spot if he doesn't find his groove. After an impressive spring training 2.0, he's hitting just .083. The problems that plagued him last season -- swinging at balls and taking strikes -- haven't been resolved. He has struck out 10 times in 34 plate appearances, his only saving grace the nine walks that have at least put him on base.

But Benintendi is just one problem among many. Third baseman Rafael Devers showed up to camp with questions about his conditioning and defense, but now we're wondering where his bat went. He's hitting .182 with zero RBIs. He started slowly last year, too, but he doesn't have the luxury of struggling for a month and then turning on the afterburners in a 60-game season.

His partners in the middle of the order, Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez, haven't been much better. Bogaerts is hitting .241 with a .670 OPS, and Martinez is even worse at .219/.637. If the latter plans to opt out this fall, he'd be much better served taking his traditional .300-.950 numbers into free agency.

But there's more! First baseman Michael Chavis almost never makes contact and is hitting .188. Since stroking four hits on opening day, second baseman Jose Peraza is batting .185. Right fielder Alex Verdugo is hitting just .231 with zero extra-base hits.

The offense is being carried by the bottom of the order, whether it's catcher Christian Vazquez (4 HRs), center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (.320-.814) or backup outfielder Kevin Pillar (.423-1.098). Mitch Moreland has delivered, too, with a pair of homers, but Roenicke is managing his playing time to avoid injuries.

"We've got a couple of guys scuffling a little bit, and when they get going, I think it will rub off on the other guys," Roenicke said.

In the meantime, as the Red Sox search for the offense that was supposed to be their salvation, the season is already 15 percent over, and they're sinking like a stone.

Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez shut down for season with myocarditis

Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez shut down for season with myocarditis

Eduardo Rodriguez will not pitch for the Boston Red Sox in 2020.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom announced Saturday that Rodriguez has been shut down for the remainder of the season as he recovers from myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart. Rodriguez confirmed he was diagnosed with myocarditis last week following a battle with COVID-19.

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The good news is while E-Rod will not be able to return this year, the 27-year-old is expected to make a full recovery.

Obviously, this is unfortunate for a Red Sox team that currently has one of the worst pitching staffs in the major leagues. But with Rodriguez's heart issue persisting, shutting him down for the 60-game campaign is the decision that needed to be made.