Dustin Pedroia's 2012 numbers were the worst of his career. Is there reason for concern, or is this just a symptom of Pedroia being Pedroia?

In a vacuum, Dustin Pedroia's season was pretty disappointing. We've gotten used to some real excellence from the second baseman in years past. In 2011 he was arguably Boston's third MVP candidate (fat lot of good that did them), and in 2008 he took the award outright. 4.5 fWAR or not, 2012 just wasn't Pedroia at his best, with his .290/.347/.449 slash line the worst of his career.

In the context of the team and its awfulness, however, Pedroia probably deserves some serious credit for even being half of his usual self. Not only that, but he actually had mitigating factors! Crazy, I know!

It's sad, but that's kind of what we've been reduced to when looking back at the 2012 season. Clay Buchholz was dealing with rust and the lingering effects of his back injury early on, Jon Lester just sucked. Jacoby Ellsbury had his shoulder popped out by Reid Brignac, Adrian Gonzalez just couldn't stop swinging at garbage pitches.