Pedroia working on all aspects of his game

Red Sox second baseman wants to be more of a speed threat in 2016

January 25th, 2016

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia regained his power last year, but he lost some of his speed -- particularly when he strained his right hamstring in late June.

This offseason, Pedroia has focused his workouts on being the type of player who can again frustrate the opposition in a multitude of ways.

"Just trying to do everything," Pedroia said at the Red Sox Winter Weekend at Foxwoods Resort and Casino. "I want to beat a team 10 different ways, man. Stealing bags, hitting singles, doubles, making plays, that's what I'm trying to do. That's my focus, not just on one thing."

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A missing ingredient in Pedroia's game in recent years has been the stolen base. He had just two steals in 93 games last year and six over 135 games in 2014. This from a player who has stolen 20 bases or more in four seasons.

Just because Pedroia is 32 years old, don't be fooled into thinking he's going to start using his legs less. In fact, the second baseman says it is going to be quite the opposite.

"I'm going to run more," Pedroia said. "The last couple years, when I was running, David [Ortiz] was getting walked. I kind of want him to hit. So that stuff changes. But certain parts of last year, [Xander Bogaerts] hit behind me, so it's time to go."

While Pedroia hit the weights hard last winter because he finally regained enough strength in his oft-injured hands to do so, his approach has been different heading into 2016.

"I'm training to be an athlete, not do certain things," Pedroia said. "I'm not trying to hit a home run or drive the ball. I'm trying, whatever is thrown at me, to be able to acclimate and make a play. That's it. I'm just training to be an athlete instead of more sport-specific."

Playing less than 100 games for the first time since suffering a broken foot in 2010 was an exercise in frustration for Pedroia. Even if his maladies piled up, he usually found a way to stay on the field.

"It was tough," Pedroia said. "I felt great up until that point. It was hard to deal with for a while, because it was one of those things where I stepped awkwardly on a bad spot on the field. So I was upset for a while, and then just realized that I can't control that stuff. You set goals, you want to be out there every game possible, and sometimes you can't control it."

But another last-place finish in the American League East -- the third in the past four years for the Red Sox -- hurt Pedroia more than his injuries.

"Losing's tough, but the way the season ends, it doesn't matter if you're last or in second -- if it ends with you not winning your last game, it hurts the same," Pedroia said. "The goal is to win. That's what we're trying to do."