Terry Francona doesn’t deserve much in the way of criticism right now. The Sox have the best record in baseball. They lead their division by ten in the loss column. They are pitching and hitting. Their manager has pulled the strings expertly so far. But we do have one question: what in the heck is the current plan for Dustin Pedroia?
Pedroia started the season sluggishly, he looked quite overmatched in our opinion, his heel-swinging compounding his travails with a perception on our part that his intentions were more Kingmanesque than his body allowed. However, come May, Pedroia went on a tear. Beginning with the game of May 3rd against Seattle, Pedroia went on a 10-17 run over 5 games in 7 days. It was impressive. And then Terry basically turned him into a platoon player. He didn’t get an at-bat against Toronto on May 10th, went hitless on the 11th and 12th, and has basically swapped duties with Alex Cora in the last eight days, playing only two of the contests against Detroit. We want to know what the rationale is behind this move, sitting a player just as he gets hot. It’s one thing to guard against fatigue in a young player, to arbitrate slumps so that confidence isn’t shattered. But Pedroia seems to brim with faith in his own abilities, even when down — that we’ve noticed in his body language. There’s nothing hangdog about him. And he wasn’t close to slumping; quite the opposite, he was perhaps the hottest Sox. So why the sudden move to basically alternate Cora and Pedroia? It’s our only question for you, Tito.