|Dave Dombrowski: Red Sox would like to have Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts for long time, but aren’t in rush to extend them||02.23.17 at 10:59 am ET|
Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts are two Red Sox players who are potential superstars and obviously the team would like to have them part of their long-term future.
Bogaerts is a free agent after the 2019 season, while Betts is a free agent after 2020.
Appearing on Kirk & Callahan Thursday morning, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said the organization would like them to be with them for a long time, but aren’t in any rush to strike a deal.
“We would like them to be Red Sox for a long time,” Dombrowski said. “But, I have also learned throughout the years any time you have contract negotiations with players they are best kept between you and the player. That is how I have always handled those types of situations.”
Bogaerts is a Scott Boras client and he’s been known not to sign contracts before a player hits free agency. Dombrowski noted he’s been able to strike deals beforehand with Boras clients on a few occasions and sometimes it is up to the player to overrule Boras and make a decision on their own.
“I think first of all, let’s just use those two because they are specific, there’s not a rush per se,” Dombrowski said regarding an extension. “It’s not like they are [free agents] at the end of this year. I’ve run into those scenarios. You can occasionally still throw out that we have interest. I think what’s interesting throughout the years, I’ve dealt with Scott Boras many, many times for 30 years basically, and ultimately it is the player’s life. They need to step up at times and make their decisions and I have had players that Scott will say, ‘We’re really not interested,’ and he will talk to the player and at one point he may come back and the player may say, ‘I want to make this decision.'”
Dombrowski also noted that Bogaerts seems to enjoy being a member of the organization.
“I think Xander likes it here a great deal,” he said. “I think he is in a position where he would like to be a Red Sox. He appreciates the organization and the way he’s been treated. You never can tell what can happen with those things.”
|Xander Bogaerts believes playing in the World Baseball Classic could once again be a good omen for Red Sox||02.15.17 at 10:50 am ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — On the surface, Xander Bogaerts’ decision to play in the World Baseball Classic appears questionable.
Bogaerts began wearing down towards the end of the first half last year and never stopped. His OPS dropped over 130 points from the first half (.863) to the second (.729), and he ended the year on fumes, hitting just .230 after Aug. 1 while playing a career-high 157 games.
So why travel halfway around the world to Korea to play for the Netherlands in the first round of the WBC next month? Because last time it worked out pretty well for Bogaerts and the Red Sox.
“Probably the main reason is in 2013, we won it all,” Bogaerts said of the surprising World Series title that ended that season. “I went there and I played. Hopefully we can have the same results this year. Those guys I grew up playing with, playing against all the time now, because I’m from Aruba, they’re from Curacao, we always used to play against each other. This is a chance I could play with them now on a team and hopefully make it far for our country.”
Bogaerts was just a kid in 2013 and the WBC opened his eyes.
“It helped me, to be honest, in 2013 because I never played in a big crowd,” he said. “I remember playing in Japan in the Tokyo Dome. It was so packed. You could barely hear the guy next to you because all the fans were so loud, especially when you are playing the home team. It’s going to help you because of that crowd, the way you can learn how to dominate it or play through it, it will help you.”
Bogaerts also believes playing competitively early in camp could help him lock in his swing. He expects to leave Red Sox camp in about two weeks.
“I mean, I always have issues with my timing, regardless of whether I stay here or go there,” he said. “I always have a time before I get going. That’s always the way I’ve been. I tend not to stress too much on that because I kind of know myself by now. I think to get going quicker this year would definitely help us reach pretty far over there.”
With David Ortiz gone, Bogaerts said his goal is to steal more bases. As for the team, it’s no surprise that he hopes to surpass last year’s first-round playoff ouster.
“[Management] want us to go out there and be the best,” he said. “They want us always to have a chance in our division, go on, and go deep into the playoffs. Winning is always No. 1 here. That’s always how it’s been since I’ve been in this organization.
“Reaching [the playoffs] is not even easy. There are a lot of good teams out there. It’s not something easy to do, or something you can do annually. I mean, the Patriots do it, but they’re football. I’m just going to go out there and compete and trust ourselves and our coaching staff and the guys that are in here and enjoy the moment, because it doesn’t come often.”
|Dave Dombrowski on Xander Bogaerts’ defense: ‘I don’t think he has the range of some of the other shortstops that are out there’||10.11.16 at 6:32 pm ET|
All of the focus on Xander Bogaerts’ disappearing bat this season obscured the step back he took on defense, as well.
A Gold Glove finalist in 2015, Bogaerts regressed on that side of the ball as well, this year. According to Baseball Info Solutions, he didn’t cost the team any runs defensively last year, but in 2016, he cost the team 10 runs on defense.
President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski addressed Bogaerts’ defensive shortcomings on Tuesday.
“I think Bogey did fine at short,” he said. “I know the defensive metrics are not great. I don’t think he has the range of some of the other shortstops that are out there. With Bogey’s case, he plays well at short, but he’s also a guy you’d describe as an offensive shortstop. I don’t think he’s hurt us defensively. I think his offense more than makes up for whatever lack of range he may have compared to some of the other guys.
“You think of a guy like [Detroit’s Jose] Iglesias, who had much more range, but is nowhere near the offensive force Xander would be. So I think he did a fine job for us. He’s a good player, and we look for him to be our shortstop next year and for years to come. He’s going to have to keep working on it because he’s a big guy, and big guys like that have to continue to emphasize their quickness.”
Offensively, Bogaerts made his first All-Star team by hitting .329 with an .863 OPS in the first half, but he fell to .253 with a .718 OPS in the second, necessitating a drop to sixth in the batting order during the playoffs.
With the glove, the defensive component of his wins above replacement dropped from 0.9 last year to minus-0.1 this year.
Maybe the Red Sox weren’t ready for the big stage.
Of the nine starters, five players made their postseason debuts this past week and their inexperience may have shown up as the Red Sox were swept 3-0 in the ALDS by the Indians.
Jackie Bradley Jr. went 1-for-10 with seven strikeouts. Mookie Betts went 2-for-10. Sandy Leon went 1-for-10 with five strikeouts. And even though Xander Bogaerts played in the 2013 playoffs, he was a rookie and he too struggled in the series going 3-for-12 with four strikeouts.
“It’s definitely a great experience,” Bogaerts said. “A lot of pressure, but you have to learn how to control it, you have to learn how to think in that moment and just not over think a lot of stuff. Just be in the moment and be focused.”
For Betts, a MVP candidate, it looked like at times particularly in Cleveland the big stage may have got to him a bit.
“It’s the same game it’s just pressure — if you add pressure,” he said. “Everything counts. Every pitch counts. Every at-bat counts. It’s something new for a lot of us. Next year we have to be ready for it.”
Added Betts: “We’ll be OK, I know that. We are going to take this as a positive. Now we know what to kind of expect going into the playoffs.”
There were two players making their playoff debuts who had good series’ as Brock Holt went 4-for-10 and Andrew Benintendi went 3-for-9. A good sign for the future.
|Closing Time: Red Sox rally comes up short as Indians complete sweep in ALDS||10.10.16 at 9:51 pm ET|
That certainly wasn’t how things were supposed to go.
After entering the postseason as the favorites in the American League, the Red Sox were swept by the Indians in the best-of-five series, concluding with a 4-3 loss Monday night at Fenway Park.
The Red Sox offensive simply couldn’t get anything going all series long, including Monday as they were shut down by starter Josh Tomlin for a second time in the series.
Tomlin held the Red Sox to two runs over five-plus innings in four hits, while walking one and striking out four. After Tomlin, Andrew Miller didn’t allow a run in his two innings of relief, but the Red Sox did make things interesting in the eighth against Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen.
After a David Ortiz walk with two outs against Allen, Hanley Ramirez ripped a single to left scoring Mookie Betts to make it a 4-3 game and the tying run being at second base, which was when Ortiz was lifted for Marco Hernandez as a pinch-runner to a standing ovation. Xander Bogaerts ripped a line drive, but it was right at the second baseman to end the threat and leave the tying run in scoring position.
In the ninth, Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-out single and Dustin Pedroia walked, but Travis Shaw flied out to end it.
Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz avoided trouble in the first three innings, but couldn’t get out of a jam in the fourth. Jose Ramirez led the inning off with a single and was followed by a Lonnie Chisenhall walk. Coco Crisp laid down a perfect bunt to set up second and third with one out and catcher Tyler Naquin delivered with hard single to right to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.
Buchholz was lifted after the inning as he went four innings, allowing the two runs on six hits, while walking one and striking out four.
Drew Pomeranz relieved Buchholz and allowed a crucial, two-run home run to Crisp in the sixth inning, putting the Indians ahead 4-1 at the time. It was Crisp’s second postseason home run of his career.
The Red Sox scored their first run in the fifth. After a Bogaerts one-out single, Andrew Benintendi doubled off the wall to score Bogaerts on a close play at the plate. That would be all they would get in the frame as Sandy Leon and Bradley Jr. were both retired, leaving the tying run at the time on second base.
Tomlin was pulled following a leadoff single in the sixth and in came Miller. The Red Sox did get another run as following a Betts double, Ortiz hit a sacrifice fly to center, but Ramirez then struck out to end the inning.
The Red Sox led for exactly one inning in the entire series.
Here is what went wrong (and right) in the Red Sox’ loss:
|Red Sox lineup: Xander Bogaerts back to batting 2nd vs. Blue Jays||10.01.16 at 5:36 pm ET|
Apparently, it was just a one-game thing.
A night after being dropped in the order to No. 6, Xander Bogaerts is back to batting second in the second game of a three-game series with the Blue Jays.
The Red Sox are looking to wrap up the No. 2 seed in the American League as their magic number is two with getting homefield advantage in the ALDS over the Indians.
With the Red Sox going up against Jays left-hander J.A. Happ, Aaron Hill will start at third base and Chris Young will start in left field.
Christian Vazquez will catch Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Mookie Betts, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Chris Young, LF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Aaron Hill, 3B
Christian Vazquez, C
Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|Red Sox notebook: Steven Wright ruled out of first round of playoffs, John Farrell explains decision to drop Xander Bogaerts in order||09.30.16 at 5:48 pm ET|
It’s now official: when the division series starts next week, Steven Wright won’t be a part of it.
The knuckleballer threw another bullpen on Friday afternoon before the Red Sox opened their final series of the regular season against the Blue Jays, but he won’t throw again until Monday, and manager John Farrell said there’s no longer time to get him ready for the start of the playoffs.
“He wouldn’t be eligible for the first round,” Farrell said. “No, he would not.”
Wright is still recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered in August running the bases against the Dodgers. Farrell said Friday’s bullpen was at roughly 70 percent effort.
“Now it’s just a matter of continuing to build some repetition,” Farrell said. “It’s likely he throws two more bullpens, the next being Monday, before we would look to alter his program. In other words, starting to see hitters or anything along those lines. A step in the right direction for Steven.”
In other pregame news, Farrell explained the decision to drop shortstop Xander Bogaerts to sixth in the batting order.
“I just feel like, and this isn’t centered around Xander, even though he’s the one moving down a little bit,” Farrell said. “This is to try to create a little bit of a spark for us offensively because we’ve been grinding a little bit and also to create a little balance up and down the lineup a little bit more. We’re soon to get out of an expanded roster. So maybe to create a little more balance, that’s where today’s lineup is reflective of it.”
Bogaerts has scuffled in the second half. He’s hitting .227 since Aug. 1, but he went 5-for-14 vs. the Yankees with more of his typical right-field approach.
“I think what he’s shown in the New York series has been the goal of getting him back to that approach,” Farrell said. “And when you see the line drive approach into the right-center field gap, that all-field approach is what he’s working extremely hard to get back to. He’s been pitched to extensively. I want to make it clear, Bogey being in the six-hole isn’t reflective of the second half.”
|Red Sox lineup: Xander Bogaerts batting 6th, David Ortiz 4th in series opener vs. Blue Jays||at 3:50 pm ET|
With Xander Bogaerts hitting just .235 in September, manager John Farrell has moved him down in the order. Bogaerts is batting sixth in the series opener against the Blue Jays on Friday night.
Third baseman Brock Holt, who has been hitting well of late, will bat second as the Red Sox go up against right-hander Marco Estrada. Also, Mookie Betts and David Ortiz have switched, so Ortiz will bat fourth and Betts third.
Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, who is making his final start of the year before the postseason.
Here is the complete Red Sox lineup:
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Brock Holt, 3B
Mookie Betts, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Sandy Leon, C
Andrew Benintendi, LF
Rick Porcello, RHP
For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.
|Closing Time: Red Sox offense goes cold in David Ortiz’s final game in Yankee Stadium||09.29.16 at 10:26 pm ET|
On the heels of their second AL East crown in four years, the Red Sox called off the dogs.
With Henry Owens making just his fifth start of the year and a host of regulars resting, the Red Sox dropped a 5-1 decision to the Yankees on Thursday that completed New York’s sweep.
One night after the Red Sox clinched the division, Owens allowed four hits and two runs in 4 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out six. It was a serviceable effort, all things considered, from a pitcher who hadn’t made an appearance in three weeks.
It didn’t take long for the Yankees to jump on the 24-year-old, however, as cleanup hitter Starlin Castro doubled to plate Jacoby Ellsbury in the first inning. In the fifth, Ellsbury smacked an RBI double of his own to put the Yankees back up 2-1.
The Red Sox offense made C.C. Sabathia look like he was in his mid-2000’s form, managing four hits and a run off the lefty over seven innings while striking out eight times. Xander Bogaerts served as one of the few sources of offense, driving his 21st home run of the season in the fourth inning.
David Ortiz struck out and walked in his final game against the Yankees before being replaced by Brock Holt. Ortiz was honored before the game by former opponent Mariano Rivera, as well as with a book full of testimonials from Yankees greats.
David Ortiz’s eight strikeouts at Yankee Stadium this season are the most of any ballpark outside of Fenway.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— The bullpen didn’t do its part in the game in the sixth. After Heath Hembree allowed a walk and single, Robby Scott loaded the bases and proceeded to walk in a run and let another in on a passed ball.
— The battery of Owens and Ryan Hanigan had trouble catching baserunners, allowing a pair of stolen bases.
— The Red Sox grounded into a pair of double plays.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Bogaerts tied the game with a solo shot in the fourth inning. The 21st dinger for the 23-year-old keeps him fifth on the team in home runs.
— After allowing a single to start the inning, Junichi Tazawa shut down the rest of the Yankees batters in the seventh, including a strikeout of slugger Gary Sanchez.
|Closing Time: Drew Pomeranz struggles, Red Sox can’t get clutch hit in loss to Orioles||09.13.16 at 10:38 pm ET|
Tuesday night went almost the opposite as it did Monday for the Red Sox and Orioles.
On Monday the Red Sox knocked Orioles starter Wade Miley out of the game after 1 1/3 innings, and on Tuesday the Orioles knocked Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz out of the game after two-plus innings.
Unlike the Orioles on Monday, the Red Sox made it a competitive game, but they still fell 6-3.
The Red Sox went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Fortunately for the Red Sox, the Blue Jays also lost, so now both Toronto and Baltimore trail the Sox by two games in the AL East.
After a 1-2-3 first inning, Pomeranz allowed five runs in the second inning, including two home runs. J.J. Hardy started the scoring with a three-run shot and then after a Drew Stubbs walk, No. 9 batter Nolan Reimold hit a two-run homer.
Pomeranz made it out of the inning, but then was pulled after allowing a lead off single in the third. The two-plus innings made it the second-shortest start of his career.
“A very long inning offensively on their part. 45 pitches is a high number,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “A couple of walks mixed in on a couple of 3-2 pitches that were up in the strike zone. Fastball to Hardy, 3-2 curveball to Reimold. Two swings of the bats, as they are very capable of doing at any point in the lineup, is to drive the ball out of the ballpark.”
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