After multiple surgeries and comeback attempts after devestating knee injury in 2017, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has officially announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. Pedroia spent his entire career with the Red Sox, 17 seasons in all, with 14 of them being with the big club. Pedroia was under contract though this season, even though he wasn't going to attempt to play this season.
Pedroia was selected in the second round of the 2004 MLB Draft Draft out of Arizona State University. Pedroia finished out his draft year through the Red Sox single A systems and the Arizona Fall league prior to being promoted to Double-A Portland for the beginning of the 2005 season. Pedroia quickly worked his way through the Red Sox system as he got promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket for the remainder of the 2005 season and a majority of the 2006 season. The Red Sox called up Pedroia in August of that year where he made 79 plate appearances hitting a measly .191 in his 31 games with Boston.
However, there was promise to the young stud as he made the Red Sox opening day roster in 2007 and was slated as the starting second baseman. Although early struggles pursued in the first month of his rookie year, Pedroia was finally able to break through and was the consistent hitter the Sox always knew he could be. Pedroia finished the 2007 campaign with a .317 batting average with eight home runs and 50 runs batted in. That was good enough to earn Pedroia American League Rookie of the Year honors. However, it was even sweeter for him as he capped off his first official season in MLB with a World Series Championship.
2008 was more of the same from Pedroia as his numbers drastically improved after having a full season under his belt. In 2008 Pedroia led the majors with 235 hits, 54 of those being doubles, a stat in which he also led the majors in. Pedroia also lead the American League in runs scored with 118. Pedey also made his fist All-Star game appearance in 2008. Pedroia's batting line was even more eye popping as he clobbered 17 homers and collected 83 RBI's, on his way to the American League MVP Award. In 2009 Pedroia put together another solid season for the Red Sox as he hit .296 15 homers and 72 RBI's. Pedroia once again led the American League in run scored with 115. Pedroia earned his second straight All-Star game nod that same season.
In 2010, Pedroia was putting together yet another great season until he fouled a ball off of his foot in an inter-league game against the San Fransisco Giants. Pedroia ended up breaking his foot and missed significant time. Pedey tried to make a comeback later in the season, but after three games decided to let his foot completely heel and be ready for the 2011 season. In 2010, Pedroia finished with .288 average while collecting 87 hits, 12 homers and 41 RBI's. Pedroia earned an appearance in his third consecutive All-Star game, but was unable to play.
From 2011-2014, Pedroia always tried to play in every single game he played in and was always reluctant to take a day off. Pedroia played in all but three games in 2011 and missed just two games in 2013. On all five occasions, they were just maintenance days for Pedroia, but always wanted appear in the game as either a defensive replacement or a pinch hitter. Pedroia earned yet another All-Star game nod in 2013, he wasn't named a starter, but ended dup playing a majority of the game after then Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano left the game due to injury. 2011 was a career year statistically for Pedroia as he hit 21 homers and 91 RBI's while hitting .307 that season. During this time frame Pedroia earned his second World Series ring in 2013.
In 2015, Pedroia battled a slew of injuries once again and ended up missing significant time as a result. At the time no one thought of Pedroia's durability being an issue as he played four consecutive seasons without a major injury, plus Pedroia had a lot of fire in his belly to keep playing. It was the 2016 season was truly the last time we saw Pedroia at full strength. In 2016, Pedroia played in 154 games hitting .318 with 15 home runs and 74 RBI's. Pedroia was always a productive player that the Red Sox could have hoped for and were hoping they could get from him for at least another three or four seasons and have stability on the right side of the infield.
Entering the 2017 season, Pedroia was coming off-season left-knee surgery to remove a section of the meniscus and smooth out arthritic joints. However, it seemed to be a minor surgery at the time to help strengthen his knee after battling soreness through much of the 2016 campaign.
It was on April 21st, 2017, in a game against the Baltimore Orioles, then Orioles third baseman Manny Machado aggressively slid into second base and spiked Pedroia in the knee. Pedroia didn't end up missing a lot time due to the fact the injury was significant enough for him to miss a lot of time, however, he did miss 56 of the final 145 games due to his knee and wrist.
Pedroia was scheduled to miss the start of the 2018 season regardless as he opted for to have arthroscopic surgery in the offseason to determine the significance of his injury.. However, Pedroia only appeared in three games for the Red Sox in 2018 as his knee simply was not holding up, we went on th 60-day injured list and missed the remainder of the season. He did earn his third World Series ring in the process, but he was more of a mentor that season if anything else. Pedroia once again tried to comeback in 2019, things were looking good until Pedroia felt a pop in his knee during an at-bat in New York. Pedroia went on two separate rehab assignments, but was still feeling discomfort in his knee, Pedroia made the decision to shut it down for the rest fo the 2019 season. Pedroia returned home to Arizona for the rest of year and acknowledged that he wasn't;t sure if he would ever play again.
Pedroia did not report to Spring Training in 2020, if he was going to at all as he was trying to see if his knee would hold up. Obviously even if he did try to part-take in Spring Training games, the shutdown due to the ongoing pandemic would not have helped his matters. Pedroia was activated off of the 60-day injured list at the end of the 2020 season, but team officials did say that they did not expect him to play again.
On Monday February 1st, Pedroia officially announces his retirement for baseball. An outstanding career cut short due to an on going knee injury. Pedroia ends his career as three-time champion, four-time gold glover, 2008 AL MVP, 2013 AL Defensive Player and a four time all star.