The table above features Dustin Pedroia’s offensive numbers from 2007, his rookie year. Most of us remember that Pedey started off terribly and was widely derided as too small to succeed, but Terry Francona and the front office stuck with him, knowing he’d been a hitter since he was “knee-high to a grasshopper,” as Pedroia recently put it, and that the “laser show”—another classic Pedey-ism—was inevitable. He of course went on to win the A.L. Rookie of the Year award. What I didn’t recall was that Pedroia’s bad start in ’07 was really just one month (20 games). For some reason I remember it as a longer, more-epic struggle similar to what David Ortiz suffered in consecutive springs in ’09 and ’10. I’m glad to know that Pedroia has gotten through a month-long slump before, because if the Red Sox are going to contend this season they’ll need him (and Adrian Gonzalez) to start slugging again. This year, Pedey’s production has declined with each month, as you can see here:
Pedroia’s June was obviously marred by the partially torn adductor muscle in his thumb, though the extent to which the injury hindered his swing is not something Pedroia is likely to ever talk about. And as I write this, word has come down that he’s going on the 15-day DL with a second injury to the same thumb. In a way, maybe it’s better that he got a second injury, as he will no longer have the option of playing valiantly but poorly through pain.