Dustin Pedroia recently spent some time on the disabled list. That gave some Boston Red Sox fans a chance to reflect on what he means to the team. Somehow, there were some views that Boston was better without him. As he tears up opposing pitchers though, the case against those fans is pretty strong.

Since Dustin Pedroia joined the Red Sox full-time in 2007, he’s been one of their most valuable players. He won Rookie of the Year that year, and MVP in 2008. Meanwhile, he’s been a part of two World Series winning teams, and has plenty of other trophies on his shelf.

Pedroia’s been one of the best defensive second baseman in baseball his entire career. While on the DL, the absence of his glove was evident. That’s something no one will ever try to discredit. It’s the bat that seems to be underrated these days.

When he landed on the DL, Pedroia held a .303/.378/.406 slash line. They were strong numbers, but he wasn’t doing anything too flashy. Perhaps it was due to this that made some fans feel the Red Sox would be better with him out of the lineup.

Since the start of September, the 34-year-old has collected a hit in 5-of-7 games. In that time, he’s hitting .391 (9-for-23) with four walks. It’s been his last two games that truly announced the return of Pedroia though.

Pedroia had a perfect day at the plate on September 9, going 2-for-2 with two walks. He smashed his seventh home run of the year, driving in two runs and scoring two more.

On Tuesday Pedroia continue the hot-hitting, going 3-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored.

Overall, Pedroia’s now slashing .309/.385/.413 with 17 doubles and seven home runs. He’s driven in 57 runs and scored 43 more, while stealing four bases. Most impressive though is the 45 walks he’s drawn compared to the 43 strikeouts he has.

The hot streak should remind everyone just how good Pedroia can be offensively. While he may not be as explosive at the plate, he’s still one of the best at getting the bat on the ball. That leads to a lot of good things.

It’s incredible to think that Dustin Pedroia would have to prove his worth on the Red Sox in 2017. He’s done just that though.

Hunter Noll is a Staff Writer for Outside Pitch MLB. Follow him on Twitter

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