Jacoby Ellsbury recently was hurt and it appears as though he is going to be out for an extended period of time. It does seem that he will be back before the season ends and definitely by the postseason, assuming the Boston Red Sox get there. That is a huge void in the lineup that is not easily replaced. However, a very good choice emerged in Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It is none other than the scrappy second baseman, Dustin Pedroia.
He isn’t necessarily someone you would automatically think of to be hitting in the leadoff spot, mainly because he has been hitting third in the batting order for such a long time that it just seems that he has been there his whole career. This is his first time batting leadoff since 2009. However, the move actually seems like a really good idea. He does have some speed, with 16 stolen bases so far. Pedroia also is very patient at the plate and can look at a lot of pitches, which is a very good quality for your leadoff hitter. You don’t always need to have a speedster at the top of the lineup to get on base. Sometimes, having a batter who can work pitchers deep in the count, can look at everything that the starting pitcher has and get on base a lot works just as well. Wade Boggs was an incredible leadoff hitter and he couldn’t run at all. Pedroia has the discipline to handle the change.
Also, he has the mentality of doing whatever he can to help the team win. Shane Victorino seems to do better in the second position where he gets to see how the pitcher is going to go after a right-handed hitter. As well, it is very helpful getting David Ortiz up in the first inning. Pedroia is being a great team player.
He is to Boston what a player like Derek Jeter is to the New York Yankees. Do whatever it takes to help the team win. That is why he is the heart and soul of this team and if anyone can fill in at the top of the order, he can.