Where Are All The Lasers?

Dustin Pedroia is thankfully getting today off after last night’s horror show (0-6 with four Ks) but one thing about Pedroia that seems to be flying under the radar is the fact that outside of a particular three-game series, his entire season has been a horror show.

Pedroia’s numbers have been dropping like a rock since mid-April and a quick scan of his game log confirms the only thing standing in between he and Carl Crawford is a three-game explosion against the Yankees in games seven, eight and nine.

In that stretch, Pedroia went 9-13 with three doubles, a blast and two walks. And since? Well, he is slashing just .173/.313/.222. It should be noted that these pitiful numbers were helped by a couple of swinging bunts down in Baltimore and for the season, if you back out the Yankee series, Pedroia is hitting .185 and slugging .215. Truth be told, those numbers are actually worse than those of Crawford.

So Laser Show ….. where the hell are all of the lasers, particularly at Fenway?

Without going all fangraphian on you, a quick scan of Pedro’s swing numbers reveals the following problem. Quite frankly, Pedroia is swinging at way too many bad pitches and missing far too many good ones. Case in point, Pedroia normally makes contact nineteen out of every twenty times he swings at a ball in the strike zone. But this year, that number is down to sixteen in twenty. Moreover, Pedroia normally swings at about a quarter of the pitches he sees outside the zone. This year … that number is up to almost one-third.

The net result is he is generating a lot of strikeouts and a lot more ground balls than laser shots.

So the question becomes …. What is wrong with Pedroia? Is his foot bothering him? Is he just pressing? Or are we now in Papi territory where a trip to the ophthalmologist is needed?

It should be noted that Pedroia hasn’t let any of these problems affect his defense which has been OUTSTANDING. That suggests his foot isn’t a problem, or at least not a big problem.

But the Sox need a lot more out of Pedroia than a great glove. I mean this is a .850 OPS guy who should be good for between 60-70 extra base hits a year. That he is now on track for 30 is troubling. And it is something that the Sox need to get straightened out if they are going to get their offense cranked up to pre-season expectations.

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