Pedroia: I'm healthy and 'ready to go'

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Pedroia: I'm healthy and 'ready to go'

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS -- Friday morning was a vivid reminder that while a broken foot caused Dustin Pedroia to miss almost half of last season, there was never any damage to his spirit.

Determined, upbeat and filled with more than a little spunk, Pedroia, in his first day at the Player Development Complex, maintained that the foot had healed completely and he expects no complications.

"I feel great . . . ready to go and I'm and excited to be here," said Pedroia.

Pedroia must still do some maintenance on the foot, but said that won't hold him back from having a normal spring training.

"I pretty much have to do my stuff in the training room to get ready," he said, "but I don't think it will be a problem."

Some Red Sox officials had hinted Pedroia might be rested more once the Grapefruit League scheduled begins, but the second baseman didn't anticipate scaling back his workload.

"I haven't talked to manager Terry Francona about anything like that," Pedroia said, "but I don't think that's necessary. Whatever they have planned for me, I'm ready to do."

Pedroia recently revealed that his winter rehab featured some "ups and downs," but Friday, he downplayed that aspect of his recovery.

"What I was trying to say," he said, "was when you have an injury like this, you try to find ways that make you feel right. There are so many different areas of your foot and I have to get my leg back to normal. Some of the things I was trying to do weren't the right things to do.

"But we found a way to make me feel strong and I feel great right now. It was just trying to get everything working together. If one part of my leg isn't firing, then it's going to affect my foot. But we kind of figured out what the problem was and the last three weeks, I felt great."

Pedroia will be excused from the taxing shuttle run which the team will conduct next week to measure fitness, but other than that, will be cleared for all activity.

"I've already taken ground balls, turned double plays, run the bases -- I've done everything," he said. "I'm ready to go . . . My foot's repaired. There's a screw in there holding everything together. It's a ton better. I feel great. There's not going to be any setbacks or anything like that."

In addition to a foot which is mended, Pedroia returns to a Red Sox team which has been upgraded by free agent signings and trades. Informed that new teammate Carl Crawford told USA Today that he can't wait to play with Pedroia, whom he labeled a "little firecracker," Pedroia said: "What a shocker.

"I worked out with Carl for probably three or four years at API in Arizona when I was there. I'm glad he's on our team. It's a pain in the butt playing against him. He's running wild. It's going to be fun playing with him on our side.

"Everyone's real excited. We're fired up. Everyone's healthy. It's going to be fun."

With Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez joining the Red Sox lineup, Pedroia is unsure -- and apparently, unconcerned -- where he's going to hit in the batting order.

"I don't care," he said. "I don't think anyone cares."

Pedroia acknowledge that his patience was tested during his rehab.

"It's been tough," he said. "You try to set little goals, stuff like that. The other day was my last workout and I was kind of excited. I put a lot of hard work in and I'm ready for it to show on the field."

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Posey stays out of the fray during Strickland-Harper brawl

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Posey stays out of the fray during Strickland-Harper brawl

SAN FRANCISCO  — As an irate Bryce Harper charged toward the mound, Buster Posey just stood and watched from behind home plate.

And when the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants cleared their benches Monday and punches flew both ways, the All-Star catcher did his best to remain just outside the fray.

Not where some expected to find the Giants team leader with his pitcher, Hunter Strickland, exchanging head shots with Harper.

“Posey did NOTHING to stop Harper from getting to his pitcher,” former major league pitcher Dontrelle Willis wrote on Twitter. “I’ve never seen that before in my life.”

Posey declined to enter the fracas, instead remaining around its edges and watching as the players scuffled in “a pretty good pile,” as Giants manager Bruce Bochy called it.

Posey dealt with a concussion in April after being struck in the head by a pitch, but did not say he held back because of concerns related to that. He did say he was wary about the risk of injury.

“There were some big guys tumbling around out there,” Posey said. “You see Mike Morse and Jeff Samardzija are about as big as they come and he was getting knocked around like a pinball. So it was a little dangerous to get in there.”

Still, social media was abuzz at the sight of Posey not sticking up for his teammate.

“Strickland must have told @BusterPosey he was hitting him and let him come cause he didn’t even give a soft jog,” Willis wrote.

“Says all you need to know that Buster Posey didn’t bother to hold back Harper,” tweeted Fox broadcaster Kevin Burkhardt . “Let him go get his pitcher.”

Also absent from the fight: hard-nosed Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. As his teammates flew over the dugout railing, Bumgarner stayed put, perhaps because the left-hander is still recovering after injuring his pitching shoulder and ribs in a dirt biking accident in April.

 

Drellich: After golden 2016, Red Sox remember what it's like to have things go wrong

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Drellich: After golden 2016, Red Sox remember what it's like to have things go wrong

CHICAGO — More than anything else, Monday’s 5-4 Red Sox loss was a reminder of how much the Red Sox had go right for them a year ago, and just how unrealistic it was to expect so much of it to carry over into 2017.

The Red Sox remain a very good team. But the success of last year’s 93-win team, of any 93-win team is, truly, difficult to replicate. Unlikely, even.

Baseball’s age of parity, the randomness of freak injuries, good old regression — the Sox were due for some elements to catch up to them after a season that was more or less golden in 2016.

Dustin Pedroia, who headed back to Boston on Monday for an MRI on his left wrist, was healthy enough to hit 15 home runs a year ago, his highest total since 2012. The way this year is going for him health-wise, just having him on the field and hitting close to .300 sounds like a worthwhile goal the rest of the way.

(Slides are Pedroia’s enemy, be it from an oncoming base runner, like Manny Machado, or an oncoming first baseman, like Jose Abreu.)

David Price wasn’t living David Price’s best baseball life a year ago. But you know what you can, and probably do, take for granted? He was healthy and devouring innings. He cleared more frames than anyone else in the regular season. Even when he wasn’t pitching well, he could pitch and pitch and pitch. 

Jackie Bradley Jr. had a 1.001 OPS at the end of play on May 29, 2016. His OPS after play May 29, 2017, was .670.

We know how special David Ortiz was. Let’s not go there, because it seems like no one can talk about Ortiz’s absence rationally. His exit did not suck every home run out of the Sox lineup, as many like to say is the case, but he is — of course — a big missing piece.

Not everything was perfect in 2016, lest we remember our ex-girlfriends too fondly. Carson Smith went for Tommy John surgery, for example. 

But look now: Smith still isn’t back, Tyler Thornburg is a mystery if not quiet yet an afterthought and Robbie Ross Jr. not only struggled to the point he was demoted, he’s going through elbow trouble.

Rick Porcello won the American League Cy Young, much to Kate Upton’s chagrin. Porcello will not win the Cy Young this year, if you hadn’t been paying attention, although Chris Sale might.

There’s something going well for the Sox right now: that Sale guy. The bullpen coughed up the game Monday, Matt Barnes in particular. Yet Sox relievers had the fifth best ERA of any team to start the day. 

Hey, Eduardo Rodriguez looks pretty good, doesn't he?

With some downward trends have come some positives. Craig Kimbrel's on another planet.

The Sox may still be a 90-win team. Again, they remain a very good club.

But the wins, the breaks aren’t coming as easily as they did a year ago. You should never have expected they would.