John Farrell: Expect days off for Dustin Pedroia

Keeping Dustin Pedroia fresh is a priority this season after he played 93 games last year because of two stints on the disabled list for a right hamstring strain. Jim Rogash/Getty Images

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Dustin Pedroia never wants to come off the field, but Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell believes that convincing him to take a day off might be easier this season.

"I think more than anything, Pedey’s maybe a little more open-minded towards that periodic rest," Farrell said at his media session Monday.

Keeping the 32-year-old four-time All-Star second baseman healthy is one of the main priorities for the Red Sox, who had him in the lineup for just 93 games last year because of two stints on the disabled list for a right hamstring strain.

"I think as he gets deeper into his career, I think he knows what it feels like coming off a day off, where he’s a little bit more fresh or a little bit energized from a day down," Farrell said. "You do work to strike a balance, because one, you’re trying to be as competitive and best team on the field and you never want Pedroia out of the lineup. But a day off might give you benefits or dividends in subsequent days following. We’ll always work through that, and continue to work through it."

Going into the offseason after the 2014 season, Pedroia bulked up his upper body so he could drive the ball better, but he felt it compromised his athleticism. Farrell said he never noticed that in Pedroia before he was injured last season, but noted that he is now eight to 10 pounds lighter going into this season.

"I think it just speaks that regardless of the player, as you go through your career, you’re always evolving as a player," Farrell said. "You’ve got to adjust as your body is telling you to, and he’s doing that. He’s back to more agility, more speed type of work. That should allow him to maintain the defensive range."

Asked how important it is to keep him healthy, Farrell said: "Well, his health and his presence in the lineup every day makes us a better team. The exciting thing that spring training presents us is that Pedey sets the tone for our drill work, our team fundamentals. We know he’s always going to be energetic -- loud in many ways, which is a good thing -- but when Pedey’s been on the field, he’s been an All-Star performer, and we’re anticipating a full year from him this year."

Other takeaways from Farrell’s media session:

  • How patient will Pedroia be with Hanley Ramirez, who is learning first base this year in spring training after a disastrous debut in left field last year during which he didn’t always appear engaged?

    Farrell equates it to Pedroia’s reaction when he played next to Mike Napoli during a conversion from catcher to first base.

    "Pedey understands," Farrell said. "I mean, he’s had Nap next to him when he transitioned. Pedey understands what players go through. And particularly when you change positions, there’s a whole new set of responsibilities. But we’re also taking a left-side infielder and moving him to the right side. I wouldn’t suspect it would be as drastic a move as taking a guy from behind home plate and putting him at first base. But all along, Pedey is going to be to his right, and I think there’s some security in that for Hanley."

  • Pitcher Joe Kelly's flight arrived in Fort Myers in the afternoon and he will go through a workout Tuesday. Kelly, the last player to report, was with wife Ashley and newborn son Knox.

  • Koji Uehara (sinus infection) went through an individual workout and will be back on the field with the full squad on Tuesday.

  • Edwin Escobar (flu) is improving but is a few days from getting back on the field.