Pedroia takes ‘step in the right direction' by playing for Greenville

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Dustin Pedroia is en route to returning to the Boston Red Sox. He wasn't quite ready to start the season, so the team elected to keep him in extended spring training as a result. And now, he has started his rehab assignment in the minors.

Pedroia played for the Red Sox single-A affiliate, the Greenville Drive, in their home opener on Thursday. Pedroia played nine innings at second base for the team and seemed to enjoy himself.

“It was fun,” Pedroia said via The Greenville News. “This is a great atmosphere here. I mean these guys are lucky. The stadium is unbelievable. The fans are great. The playing surface is awesome. You couldn’t ask for more out of a minor league affiliate. This is a pretty special place for these guys, so it was a great experience to be out there.”

Moving forward, Pedroia is continuing to focus on when he could return to the Red Sox. The goal was for him to be ready by the Red Sox' home opener on April 9, and there remains a chance that he could be ready for that contest. Of course, it all depends on how his knee responds to getting extra playing time, but as Pedroia said to The Greenville News, things are going well so far.

“It felt good. Another step in the right direction. Almost there.”

Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt will continue to hold the fort at second base until Pedroia is ready to return. So far, the two have combined for just a .114 average over 35 combined at-bats.

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