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How Confident Are We In Dustin Pedroia's Bat And Health?

One of the rare hits we've seen from Pedroia off a righty lately. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
One of the rare hits we've seen from Pedroia off a righty lately. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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As of late, the Red Sox seem to have a lot going for them. Having won five straight games (two against the Yankees) and playing arguably their best baseball this whole season, they have managed to do it without very much offensive contribution from second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Up to this point, Pedroia is only batting .247/.361/.338 with four homers and 22 RBI and has already struck out 39 times at the plate. About a month ago, Pedroia was one of the key players that got the Red Sox out of their early season slump, now it appears he's to be the player left in the dust while the rest of the team is thriving.

When looking at the numbers closely, Pedroia is absolutely killing the ball against lefties this season (.324/.442/.451) but has struggled to hit right handers (.213/.324/.288) to his credit. Being a right handed hitter, Pedroia is supposed to hit lefties better than he does righties, but his career numbers tell a different story. Against right handers in his career, Pedroia swings a .305/.369/.470 bat with 46 career homers and 195 RBI versus the .286/.368/.403 bat he swings against left handers.

Because of his struggles, some are beginning to wonder whether or not Pedroia should be dropped in the batting order in favor of the surging Carl Crawford, batting maybe seventh, eighth, or ninth.

On top of his struggles at the plate, we found out late last night that Pedroia may be having troubles with his right knee. As Peter Abraham reported last night, Pedroia will not be available for today's game as he will be on a plane back to Boston to get his knee looked at by team doctors.

While it appears he will not need surgery according to the team, it was still another scare in the eyes of many Red Sox fans. Pedroia originally injured the knee back on May 16 against the Orioles and has been lingering ever since. In addition to the knee trouble, he also appeared to tweak his left leg back on May 22 against the Indians, which forced him to leave the game.

With all of these lingering injuries, it gets fans like me worried that Pedroia's 2011 season could be a mirror image of his 2010 season, one where he spent the majority on the bench, unable to play for the rest of the season.

With that being said, one thing that Pedroia has done well is his defense. Disregarding his error against the Athletics last Saturday, Pedroia has been giving 110% in the field. I also believe that despite his struggles at the plate, his work ethic will ultimately get him out of his current funk against righties and will get him back where he needs to be. I ultimately believe he will figure things out against the right handers, and he will avoid the disabled list at all cost.

But that's just me

What say you, Over the Monster? How confident are you in Dustin Pedroia?