Toronto Blue Jays Have a Nemesis in Dustin Pedroia

 

The Toronto Blue Jays seem to have a nemesis in Dustin Pedroia. The pesky 2B always seems to be a thorn in their side.

 

 

David Ortiz may be retiring, but the Blue Jays will still have a major problem in Pedroia.

 

The Toronto Blue Jays will wrap up their series against the Red Sox today. It is the final game of the final time the Beantowners will visit Rogers Centre in 2016. And, likely, we’ll be happy to see them go. After all, they bring with them the still potent bat of David Ortiz, the proud owner of 60 HR against the blue birds. Ortiz owns 132 extra base hits and 186 RBI against Toronto. In Rogers Centre alone, he has 40 bombs. So, it will be nice to see him retire and not hit against Toronto anymore.

 

However, even as Big Papi rides off into the sunset (in his goose down jacket…) the Blue Jays will still be left with a problem. That problem stands all of 5′ 9″. The problem is Dustin Pedroia. The 2007 Rookie of the Year and 2008 MVP always seems to come up with ways of ruining the day for the Blue Jays.

 

Pedroia is having a rather nice season in the shadows of Mookie Betts. He’s hitting .329/.390/.458 with 64 RBI and 92 runs scored. Once a middle of the order bat, the club has decided to move him up to the leadoff spot because of his ability to work an at bat and get on base for the other members of the potent Red Sox lineup.

 

Wherever he hits, Pedroia has worn out Blue Jays pitching over the years. For his career, he is hitting .295/.350/.459 with 19 HR, 90 RBI and 92 runs scored. All of this is over 157 games, which is basically a season’s worth. If his career versus the Blue Jays were condensed into one season, we’d call it rather successful. At Rogers Centre (75 games), he has 9 HR, 49 RBI, 44 R and is slashing .291/.350/.434. He’s also worked the club for 54 walks (29 at Rogers Centre). His annoying performance was on display on Saturday when he hit a solo shot to LF. It didn’t cost the game, but it was a reminder that he will not go away.

 

Given that he is 33 yrs old, we can expect that we’ll be seeing him for a bit longer- he won’t be a free agent until 2022. With that in mind here is how he has done against some of the Blue Jays that will be around for most of that time:

 

  • Pedroia vs Marcus Stroman– In 15 at bats, Pedroia has hit .467/.500/.733 with 4 doubles.
  • Pedroia vs Aaron Sanchez– In 11 at bats, he has 11 hits and 3 walks for an OBP of .357
  • Pedroia vs Marco Estrada– In 19 at bats, he has slashed .368/.429/.421. He hasn’t hit Estrada hard, but has 7 hits off him.
  • Pedroia vs J.A. Happ– Happ has had the most success against him, holding him to a line of .217/.280./.435 on 5 hits, a homer and 5 RBI.
  • Pedroia vs R.A. Dickey– Even though Dickey likely will not be around for the remainder of Pedroia’s conract with the Red Sox, it is interesting to look at how he’s done. In 54 at bats, the knuckleballer has held him to a .241/.268/.352 line on 13 hits, which includes a HR, triple, double, all in 54 at bats.

 

Dustin Pedroia is the kind of player you hate coming to your stadium. But, if he’s playing on your team, you love him. He will grind out at bats, he will chase down a grounder on the short stop side of second base and make a big throw in an attempt to catch a runner going to first (as evidenced on Saturday). He rarely finishes a game with a clean uniform. He is cheering on his teammates and shows respect for his opponents. On Saturday, when Russell Martin jumped into the visiting dugout after a foul ball, Pedroia jumped up and sprinted to help the catcher up.

 

He’s the kind of player that Blue Jays broadcasters Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler gush over for innings at a time. And, it is annoying as all get out. So is the player. He has been annoying the Toronto Blue Jays for years and will for a few more.

 

 

 

 

 

*Featured Image Credit: Keith Allison UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0

 

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