Red Sox pregame notes: Xander Bogaerts starting at third for Pawtucket, ‘doing everything he can to tell us when he’s ready,’ Farrell says
|07.29.13 at 6:58 pm ET|
The start of the Xander Bogaerts era may be near.
The Red Sox’ top prospect, who is a shortstop by trade but has been getting work at third base, including the start Monday, has been heating up with Triple-A Pawtucket and could soon merit a promotion to the big leagues.
“Xander is doing everything he can to tell us when he’s ready to come to the big leagues, and whether that’s this week or next month, that’s still in the debate, or in the conversation,” manager John Farrell said. “But he’s an exciting young player, I think we’re all looking forward to the day that he begins his career, not knowing when that’s going to be.”
Farrell mentioned — on the topic of Jose Iglesias and Brandon Snyder — that he is “looking to get a little more production out of the bottom third of the order.”
After being promoted to the PawSox in mid-June, Bogaerts hit .214 with a .707 OPS in his first 14 games, drawing just five walks compared to 14 strikeouts — an adjustment period common of any player moving up a level.
In the 25 games since, however, he has batting .318 with a .955 while reaching base at least once in each contest. He is also striking out much less (15 times) and walking more frequently (17 times).
Monday will be Bogaerts’ fifth start at the hot corner with Pawtucket. Farrell described his defense at the new position as “getting there.”
“I know one thing, just in the reports and talking to [Pawtucket manager] Gary DiSarcina — [Bogaerts] feels more comfortable at short, and you’d almost expect that,” Farrell said. “But as much as we’ve tried to set a plan in place to rotate he and guys through that other position — [Brock] Holt being another one that we’ve done that with — the more reps that we can get there to gain some comfort probably keeps that internal conversation alive.
“Whether or not that’s the position he comes to here, we’ll see.”
Other Red Sox notes:
– Speaking of the left side of the infield, the struggling Iglesias (.200/.244/.213 in July) will ride the bench Monday vs. the Rays. Right-handed batter Snyder is getting the start against lefty David Price in his place.
Farrell called it “just a down day” for Iglesias, but did acknowledge he hasn’t been as successful at the plate of late.
“He’s been attacked early and often in the strike zone,” Farrell said. “When he’s fallen behind in the count, he’s expanding the zone on occasion. I can’t say he’s chased wildly by any means. Some of the balls that he had the benefit of falling in before haven’t been of late. He’s not striking out at an abnormal rate. He puts the ball in play. Some of those aren’t finding holes.”
– Jarrod Saltalamacchia is the other regular getting a “down day” Monday. Ryan Lavarnway will play in his place behind the plate, with his powerful bat being one benefit of that.
“Given that we’ve pushed Salty of late, left-handed starter [Price], trying to get the strength of Lavarnway’s bat vs. the left-hander, we’ll see how it plays out,” Farrell said. “The one thing that won’t waver is a guy who has an understanding of the strike, who is disciplined to it. How Price affects that, we’ll see.”
– Farrell doesn’t expect the outcome of the next two games — the teams’ final two before the non-waiver trade deadline at 4 p.m. Wednesday — to affect what the team may or may not do.
– Farrell said he had not heard one way or another about a potential suspension for David Ortiz’ tirade Saturday in Baltimore.
According to the Globe’s Nick Cafardo, Ortiz will not be suspended.
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