If Dustin Pedroia could go back in time, he would choose not to have surgery on his knee in 2017, which may have allowed him to play more in 2018.
Dustin Pedroia is one of the all-time great second basemen in Boston Red Sox history. He’s a former American League MVP.
But during the 2018 season, which was capped off by the Red Sox winning their ninth World Series title over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pedroia was nothing more than an afterthought. That was due in large part to the fact that he only played in three games in May, while trying to recover from knee surgery he had in October 2017.
The surgery was to replace cartilage in his knee. But had Pedroia known how long it would take, and how difficult it would be, to recover from the surgery, he says he would’ve gone a different route. Had he indeed passed on the surgery, he might’ve been able to spend more time playing second base, a position which was instead covered by Brock Holt, Eduardo Nunez, and later Ian Kinsler.
“No, I wouldn’t have done it,” Pedroia said, via ESPN.com. “I don’t regret doing it, but looking back and knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have done it.”
Of course, Red Sox fans aren’t complaining either way. Their team still won the World Series. But for the 35-year-old Pedroia, who has been an integral part of the organization for over a decade — including the teams that won championships in 2007 and 2013 — watching Boston’s magical season from the dugout certainly had to sting.
As for whether or not passing on the surgery could have allowed Pedroia to play more in 2018, we may never truly know. But he wishes he would’ve known more about the surgery as a whole before he had gone through with it.
“It’s a complicated surgery,” Pedroia said. “The cartilage in my knee is great now, but the graft is the thing. You’re putting somebody else’s bone in your body. To get that to incorporate fully, there are so many things that, going into it, I didn’t know all that stuff. I thought, ‘they were like, you tore this, we can fix it. Great.’”
Regardless, what’s done is done. Pedroia may have missed out on 2018’s title run, but as long as everything goes according to plan, he will be at second base in 2019 to help the Red Sox defend their championship.
Pedroia might be past his prime, but he will still be a top tier infielder if he can stay healthy.