For the first time since 2005, Dustin Pedroia will not be on the field when the Red Sox play in the postseason. But the second baseman, who is on the disabled list recovering from knee surgery, will still have a role.
Manager Alex Cora wanted the 35-year-old Pedroia around the team to share his insights and provide advice to players when asked.
Pedroia has been working with Rafael Devers on infield fundamentals and talking to Ian Kinsler about his slump at the plate.
“He’s a more mature guy,” Cora said. “He’s a leader in the clubhouse. I walk into the [batting] cage for whatever reason, and he’s there talking to somebody.
“It’s a different role for him . . . but he’s been great. His energy is still there. I know he’s dying to go out there and perform. But he’s been a great teammate. We’re very proud of him. He’s not a distraction.”
Cora and Pedroia were teammates from 2005 to ’08 and became close friends. Cora sees a change in Pedroia’s demeanor now.
“Compared to when I played with him, he’s not the loud guy: ‘I’m the Laser Show, rah, rah rah.’ He’s a lot different,” Cora said. “He’ll come to the office, and we talk about the team.
“He cares. He cares a lot about this organization. He loves the fact that we’re in this situation. I wanted him to be here. I told him, ‘You’re going to contribute regardless, on the field or off the field.’ He’s doing it in the clubhouse.”
Pedroia was in Arizona doing rehab work for much of the summer and returned to the team in September. He has kept a low profile with the media and when the team celebrated its division title.
“Just enjoying it,” he said. “It’s been easier that the team is so good. It’s fun to watch.”
With Pedroia able to play in only three games this season, the Red Sox were 14th in the American League with a .658 OPS at second base and last with only eight home runs. The Sox were seventh in the league with a .758 OPS in 2017. Pedroia hit .293 with a .760 OPS last season.
Pedroia has played in 51 postseason games. Only David Ortiz (76) and Jason Varitek (63) have more with the Sox.
TV crews set
TBS will carry the AL Division Series and the AL Championship Series. Some faces familiar to New England viewers will be involved, but they will not work the Red Sox games.
Brian Anderson will handle play-by-play for the Division Series between the Sox and either the Athletics or Yankees. Ron Darling will be the analyst and Lauren Shehadi the reporter.
That crew also will have the ALCS.
Don Orsillo and Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley will call the Indians-Astros Division Series, with Hazel Mae as the reporter.
Eckersley is a wildly popular analyst with NESN. Orsillo was with NESN from 2001 to ’15, and Mae was with the network from 2004 to ’08.
Casey Stern will host the pregame and postgame shows on TBS. Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, Jimmy Rollins, and Gary Sheffield are the analysts.
Baseball-reference.com had Mookie Betts with a 10.9 WAR for the season, tops in the majors. It’s tied for the second-highest for a Red Sox player, behind only Carl Yastrzemski’s 12.5 in 1967. Ted Williams also had 10.9 in 1946 . . . The Sox used 44 players this season, their fewest since the World Series champion team of 2007 used 40 . . . Jackie Bradley Jr. was at Boston Green Academy in Brighton Monday to present a seventh-grade student, Lucas, with four tickets for Friday’s game . . . After the regular-season finale Sunday, Eduardo Nunez, Eduardo Rodriguez, Christian Vazquez, and Hector Velazquez were among the Sox players who saw Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Ozuna that night at Agganis Arena . . . Through Thursday, the Sox will project images from their season on buildings in the Boston area from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The presentation will be at the Old State House in Boston Tuesday, the Novartis building in Cambridge Wednesday, and Fenway Park Thursday.
Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com.