Healthy Pedroia showing more pop at plate

Healthy Pedroia showing more pop at plate

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Forget about the .105 batting average Dustin Pedroia took into Thursday's game against the Twins. The key is that he is fully recovered from the left thumb surgery he underwent Nov. 13.

Pedroia suffered the injury on Opening Day last season and was hampered from a power standpoint, hitting nine home runs, his lowest total since 2007.

"I see better bat speed," said Sox manager John Farrell. "You see the bat travel through the zone much more aggressively. There's more freedom. Even in his BP, you see his ability to get to the pull-side a little bit more readily. You see the freedom in the swing pretty clear."

Despite the injury, Pedroia was able to hit .301 last year and play a career-high 160 games.

Of the early slump in Grapefruit League action, Farrell said, "He's just trying to get his timing down. It's just kind of getting back in the flow of things."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.