John Farrell on D&H: Red Sox still view Xander Bogaerts as shortstop
|05.21.14 at 4:25 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell joined Dale & Holley on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the signing of Stephen Drew, the implications of shifting Xander Bogaerts to third base and Felix Doubront‘s injured shoulder. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
The Red Sox got a big boost to their struggling infield with the addition of Drew, who signed a one-year contract for around $10 million on Tuesday. Last season Drew was second among AL shortstops with a .984 fielding percentage while hitting .283 with 32 extra-base hits (19 doubles, five triples, eight home runs) over his final 68 regular-season games.
“I think we all saw the defensive capability and the ability to be a well above-average hitter against right-handed pitching. I think he stabilizes our infield defense, he did that last year, whether you want to take a look at what he did in October or what he did throughout the course of the entire season,” Farrell said. “This is a very good player. The more good players that you can have on your team, the better.”
It was tough for Bogaerts to mask his disappointment of moving back to the hot corner following Boston’s 7-4 loss to Toronto on Tuesday, as the 21-year-old slugger stated, “I worked so hard at being there. Just now I started feeling comfortable out there, but they did what they have to do.”
Said Farrell: “His quotes were what they were. He was probably a little bit distracted maybe by the message yesterday afternoon. … The majority of infielders come up as shortstops and at one point and time, because of other players that are around them, or because of things that are out of their control, they move off the position. In this case, with Stephen Drew coming in, as Xander did last year, he adjusted to go over to third base and did a good job and we’re looking to do the same.
“As he even outlined in his comments, he sees himself as a shortstop, that’s what he’s always played in his professional career. … Players begin to get an identity with who they are as a player and when that changes, it can have a little bit of an effect on the psyche.’”
Farrell added: “The one thing that we tried to outline to Xander yesterday was that there’s a short-term view of this and a long-term view of this. Short term, we’re moving [him] to third base to create the spot for Stephen to come back and improve us as a team. Long term, we still see him as a shortstop.”
Doubront left Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays in the fifth inning with what was described as shoulder fatigue. The southpaw struggled to hit 90 mph with his fastball against a dynamic Toronto lineup that torched him for five runs off of five extra-base hits. As a result, Doubront was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with what the team has called a left shoulder strain.
“Last night he felt some restriction as each inning progressed, and any time a pitcher walks off the mound inside a given game is never a good thing. … The restriction was there, the velocity was diminishing, particularly in that fifth inning, and like I said, when a guy comes off the mound inside of a given game, we’re going to take a cautious approach,” Farrell said. “We put him on the disabled list. We’ve got some other roster situations that are taking place, obviously, but Felix will be in need of some rehab and overall strengthening to the shoulder.”
Boston likely will look from within the organization to find a pitcher to take Doubront’s spot in the rotation.
“We’ve got some candidates at Pawtucket that are ready to step in. [There are] guys that have been throwing the ball well — Brandon Workman is one and Allen Webster is another,” Farrell said. “The fortunate thing from a depth standpoint is that we’re looking at pitching candidates that wouldn’t be coming to the major leagues for their first time. … That selection has yet to be made.”
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