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How Xander Bogaerts has helped Mookie Betts: ‘I talk a lot to Mookie’ 04.27.15 at 11:36 pm ET
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Xander Bogaerts has helped Mookie Betts get through the first three weeks of his first full big league season. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Xander Bogaerts has helped Mookie Betts get through the first three weeks of his first full big league season. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts entered Monday 0 for his last 10, and hitting just .171 after going 2-for-4 on Opening Day.

For a 21-year-old outfielder in his first full big league season, this might be reason to get frustrated and continue to scuffle.

But not Betts, as he went 3-for-4, including a walkoff single, giving the Red Sox a 6-5 comeback win over the Blue Jays Monday night.

Fortunately for Betts, he has a teammate and good friend Xander Bogaerts to help guide him through his first full season in the league, and help him when things get tough.

Bogaerts had many ups and downs in his first year last year, so he knows first-hand what Betts is going through.

“I talk a lot to Mookie,” Bogaerts said. “I’ve kind of been through whatever he’s going through now, and probably a bit more. So I really just pass on my advice and my experience to him for sure.”

“Just a lot of the struggles I’ve been through,” he added on what he’s said to Betts. “It’s a long season. No matter what just keep your head up and don’t lose your confidence.”

Monday’s walkoff hit was the first of Betts’ career, as he lined a Miguel Castro offering up the middle, which scored Bogaerts (evidently) capping the come-from-behind win, snapping a two-game losing streak in the process.

“€œIt was short-lived. It was fun,” said Betts. “I kind of knew how to process it. It was fun.”

In the Red Sox‘ 18-7 loss to the Orioles Sunday, Betts had one of his worst games of the season committing an error in center field and going 0-for-5 at the plate. Instead of hanging his head Monday, he went out and had one of his best games of the season, something that drew the attention of manager John Farrell.

“The one thing we’re seeing in the early going here is after a tough day he’s able to put it behind him,” he said. “Even after getting thrown out in the first inning, which [Russell] Martin makes a great throw on, he’s able to put it behind him and put up quality at-bats.”

Just like his ability to put the previous game behind him like a major league veteran, Betts also spoke like one after the walkoff win, knowing it’s just another win in the standings.

“A win is a win. Anytime we win it’€™s important, especially with this division,” he said.

Read More: mookie betts, xander bogaerts,
Red Sox pregame notes: Xander Bogaerts ‘ready to go’ following MRI, normal down days for David Ortiz, Pablo Sandoval 04.15.15 at 11:51 am ET
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There was cause for concern with Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts and his knee after missing Tuesday’s game and going for an MRI, but those concerns were lifted with a negative result of the MRI and Bogaerts getting back in the lineup for Wednesday’s series finale against the Nationals.

“The way he presented some of the symptoms, sure there was concern,” manager John Farrell said. “That was why the MRI was taken. It came back clean. He felt a little bit more loose even during the game last night and then reported today with all the stress tests that were given and movements he was put through with no ill affects. Clean bill of health.”

“Bogey is ready to go,” he added. “He went out — not only after getting examined this morning, went out through some running, change in direction, some work on the field, so he is a full go.”

Bogaerts is the team’s best hitter to open the season, as he’s 13-for-30 (.433) with seven RBI.

The news may not be as good for reliever Brandon Workman as it was for Bogaerts.

Workman is seeing Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion on his right elbow, after being placed on the major league disabled list with a right elbow strain.

“They are actually meeting right now,” Farrell said. “We should have something sometime during the game. I don’t know a definitive update right now.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

— After leaving Tuesday’s game after being hit by a pitch on his left foot, Pablo Sandoval is out of the lineup Wednesday, but not because of the foot — just a down day.

“Panda [Sandoval] is actually ready to go, but felt like this was an opportune time to give him a day off,” said Farrell. “Give us a little bit more of a right-handed lineup even though that puts Brock Holt at third base.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: David Ortiz, John Farrell, Pablo Sandoval, xander bogaerts
Red Sox lineup: Xander Bogaerts returns; Pablo Sandoval, David Ortiz sit vs. Nationals at 10:43 am ET
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Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

After missing Tuesday’s game with a knee injury, shortstop Xander Bogaerts is back in the lineup Wednesday afternoon for the series finale with the Nationals.

Bogaerts injured the knee in Monday’s win, but when he came to the park on Tuesday he had increased symptoms and went for a MRI. The results were negative and he’s back in the lineup Wednesday against Nats left-hander Gio Gonzalez.

Pablo Sandoval is out of the lineup after being hit on the left foot Tuesday night and leaving the game. Following the game manager John Farrell said all tests came back negative. David Ortiz also sits, likely just a down day for the designated hitter.

Allen Craig gets the start at first base, while Mike Napoli will DH in place of Ortiz.

For a complete breakdown of the matchups, click here.

1. Mookie Betts, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Hanley Ramirez, LF
4. Allen Craig, 1B
5. Mike Napoli, DH
6. Shane Victorino, RF
7. Xander Bogaerts, SS
8. Brock Holt, 3B
9. Sandy Leon, C
Wade Miley, LHP

Read More: Pablo Sandoval, xander bogaerts,
Red Sox injury updates: Brandon Workman seeing Dr. James Andrews, Xander Bogaerts getting MRI 04.14.15 at 4:02 pm ET
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Brandon Workman

Brandon Workman

The Red Sox already had a major injury with Christian Vazquez a few weeks ago, now they are hoping to avoid another.

Reliever Brandon Workman, who was on the DL with Triple-A Pawtucket, had his option reversed Monday and was placed on the major league 15-day DL (retro to April 3) with a right elbow strain. Tuesday, manager John Farrell revealed he’s getting a second opinion with Dr. James Andrews.

“It goes back to the location where the injury took place,” Farrell said of why his option was reversed. “The soreness emerged after his final outing in spring training with us. He attempted to throw a bullpen after he was optioned and there was some discomfort there. He was recalled and put on the major league DL and he’s actually getting a second opinion with Dr. Andrews right now.”

Farrell acknowledged there is some concern.

“Any time someone goes and gets a second opinion with Dr. Andrews there is some concern,” he said. “To what extent there’s damage or injury remains to be seen and what the follow up treatment will result [also remains to be seen].”

There are major implications for Workman being on the major league DL versus the minor league DL, if he were to miss the season. By being on the major league roster his salary would be $539,000. If he was in the minors it would be $213,000. Also more importantly, by being on the major league DL he gets a full year of service time.

The Red Sox wanted to have him on the major league DL, and needed approval from MLB to do so, which was why he was originally on the minor league DL and stayed there until Monday.

The other concern is with Xander Bogaerts.

The shortstop slipped rounding third base in Monday’s win and hurt his right knee, but stayed in the game. He came in Tuesday with increased symptoms according to Farrell, and it was then decided he would go for an MRI.

“Bogey had a little right knee soreness coming out of yesterday’s ballgame,” Farrell said. “He’s actually getting a full workout as we speak.”

“We’re just hopeful that Bogey gets through this with any major issues,” he added.

Bogaerts is currently 13-for-30 on the year (.433).

Read More: Brandon Workman, John Farrell, xander bogaerts,
Observations on Game 6: Xander Bogaerts goes boom, Rick Porcello breezes, Jemile Weeks shows versatility 03.08.15 at 6:52 pm ET
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Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Observations from the Red Sox‘ 6-3 victory over the Mets:

XANDER TIME: The story of this one was definitely Xander Bogaerts. The shortstop continued his torrid spring by going 2-for-3 with an opposite-field single and three-run homer down the left-field line.

Read what you will into a handful of spring training games, but Bogaerts looks like a different hitter than he did for much of last season. He’s hitting .375 with a pair of homers and six RBIs and has returned to the all-fields approach that had him flying through the minors.

He got fooled by a slider on his home run, but kept his hands back and his front side closed, enabling him to launch it over the left field fence basically with one hand.

“I was out in front a bit, but I didn’t open up,” Bogaerts said. “It wasn’t that bat of a swing. It’s just staying closed was what I did. The whole time, I’m thinking of hitting the ball up the middle and other way.”

That approach was on display in the third, when Bogaerts waited on a 1-2 fastball away from Jon Niese and ripped it to right field for a single. Add a line out to short that required a diving catch in the first, and Bogaerts was right on the ball all day.

“I liked the one going to right field,” Bogaerts said. “I was behind in the count. I’m just not getting too overaggressive. I’m just letting the ball get deep and putting the ball in play. It’s something I really want to do more this year — put the ball in play. If you put the ball in play, stuff can happen.”

PORCELLO POUNDS ZONE: Right-hander Rick Porcello got off to a slow start that included a first inning of loud contact, but once he ended the first with a 5-4-3 double play on Michael Cuddyer, he cruised.

Porcello limited the Mets to four hits and an unearned run in three innings, striking out two and walking none.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2015 spring training, xander bogaerts,
Xander Bogaerts on D&C admits losing confidence last season: ‘This year is a new year, I feel much better’ 02.26.15 at 9:24 am ET
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Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts checked in with Dennis & Callahan live from Fort Myers, Florida on Thursday morning to discuss the upcoming season and what he did in the offseason to try and bounce back from a difficult 2014 season. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Last season was a difficult year for Bogaerts, as in his first full season in the majors he hit .240 with an on-base percentage of .297. He struggled even more with runners in scoring position, hitting just .153 for the year. Bogaerts admitted he lost confidence during the year, but 2015 is a new season.

“Yeah, a little bit — going really bad for two months, I mean extremely bad,” Bogaerts said of losing confidence. “Trying to have confidence everyday coming to the park was pretty tough. This year is a new year, I feel much better. I feel much more confident in myself so, it’s something I definitely learned, no matter how tough the situation is it’s just keep your head up.”

Bogaerts switched positions a few times during the year — moving from shortstop to third base when the team signed Stephen Drew, and then back to shortstop once Drew was traded at the trade deadline. He said the changing positions had an effect on him mentally.

“Maybe it messed with me mentally a little bit, but I guess that was my fault being young and not understanding they really got him to help the team,” Bogaerts said. “We needed someone to come in and play either short or third because [Will] Middlebrooks was injured.”

The shortstop spent much of the winter in Arizona working out for roughly four hours a day. Focusing on building muscle was one of his major goals, as he said his body wore down last year.

“Really gained a lot of muscle,” said Bogaerts. “Trying to be fast, quick. Last year towards the All-Star game my body started wearing down and I think [that was why] I was struggling so much, I was mentally weak and it just dragged on me physically and stuff like that. It just went downhill from there. The All-Star break boosted me up a little but and then it went back down.”

The 22-year-old learned a lot from his first full season in the majors, but feels his experiences last year will only help him moving forward.

“It’s a really tough game,” said Bogaerts. “Especially in the Boston market — a lot of media attention, especially after winning the World Series, a lot of eyes were on us. I think this year will probably be the same because of all the new acquisitions that we have. You just have to have a lot of confidence in yourself. You go through your ups and downs. It’s definitely easy to lose your confidence.”

Read More: 2015 spring training, Stephen Drew, xander bogaerts,
Farewell, rumor mill? ‘Supernova’ slugger Giancarlo Stanton reportedly nearing 13-year deal with Marlins 11.14.14 at 7:11 pm ET
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Giancarlo Stanton is reportedly closing on a 13-year deal with the Marlins. (Getty Images)

Giancarlo Stanton is reportedly closing on a 13-year deal with the Marlins. (Getty Images)

Giancarlo Stanton didn’t win the NL MVP award, but he may be on the cusp of cashing in on the biggest contract in baseball history. According to CBSSports.com, the Marlins and Stanton have agreed to terms on a 13-year, $325 million deal, with the two sides working to iron out the language of the deal. The deal would include both no-trade protection and the opportunity to opt out, according to the report.

Stanton, who turned 25 last week, would thus be locked up through his age 37 season (if he does not exercise the potential opt-out) for a franchise that has a long history of trading its stars in their primes. Miami was evidently willing to change course for the foremost power hitter in the NL. Stanton, who finished second in NL MVP voting to pitcher Clayton Kershaw, led the NL with 37 homers and a .555 slugging mark while hitting .288 with a .395 OBP in 145 contests before his year came to a sudden halt when he was hit in the face by a pitch on Sept. 11.

An extension could end Stanton’s perpetual place in the rumor mill, an existence to which he first became introduced as an 18-year-old in 2008, when he was mentioned as the potential return for the Sox in a trade that would have sent Manny Ramirez to the Marlins.

“I heard it was going to happen,” Stanton acknowledged in 2009.

Indeed, in the absence of an extension, it seemed unavoidable to wonder whether the Red Sox would make a play for Stanton. That curiosity even hovered over this offseason, with curiosity about whether the Sox might try to build a package around Xander Bogaerts and/or Mookie Betts. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: giancarlo stanton, mookie betts, xander bogaerts,
Buster Olney on MFB: Red Sox expect renewed commitment from Jackie Bradley Jr., Will Middlebrooks 09.03.14 at 1:18 pm ET
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Buster Olney

Buster Olney

ESPN’s Buster Olney joined Middays with MFB on Wednesday to discuss the future of the Red Sox as the team’s miserable season moves into its final month. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Red Sox and Yankees are in the midst of a series in Yankee Stadium, and Olney noted that you’d have to go back to the days of Babe Ruth (during one of his rare off seasons) to find a time when both teams were ranked so low in offense.

“We’re closing in on a century since we’ve seen these two teams struggle this much offensively,” Olney said. “As you guys know, the Red Sox are always typically a good offensive team, the Yankees usually have their share of left-handed hitters who thrive in their home park. It just hasn’t been the case this year. It’s been a completely aberrational year.

“And as they play tonight, I was talking to a person within the Yankees organization today, they feel like they’re at the tipping point. The question is whether or not the Red Sox are going to shove them over the edge.

Rusney Castillo started playing in the Red Sox minor league system last week, and he’s moving up to Double-A this week. Olney said he isn’t sure if the Cuban outfielder will make an appearance at Fenway before the season is over.

“I think they should, because they think he’s going to be part of the team next year, and why not?” Olney said. “I know, for example, a lot of teams are doing that these days. The Cubs are doing it with Javier Baez, they’re doing with with Jorge Soler. … If I were the Red Sox, sure. Because you’re not going to pay a guy $72 million unless you think he’s ready to translate right away. So, why not? It’s a signed, sealed deal, so the arbitration clause doesn’t come into it, you might as well throw him into the deep end of the pool.”

Jackie Bradley Jr., who was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Aug. 17, is expected to return to Boston for the last few weeks of the season, although his offensive struggles have continued with the PawSox.

“[A return] would make sense,” Olney said. “And if they don’t, then let’s face it, it would have to be taken as punitive. It would have to be taken as a sign from the Red Sox organization that they want Jackie to focus more on making adjustments. That’s the big question now about him within the Red Sox organization: Will he make adjustments? Because I know that during the course of the year when he was approached about that, his response was, ‘Look, I’m fine. I’ll work my way through it. I feel good.’

“Now that we’re near the end of the season, they feel like that just wasn’t done in the way that it should have been done. And they’re going to want him to do that going into next year, and they’re going to want to have him respond. And given the fact that they have this volume of outfielders, I really think next spring is going to be absolutely huge for him.

“And this winter’s going to be huge — I was going to bring this up, too — for Will Middlebrooks. I know that there is desire within the Red Sox organization that Middlebrooks go and play winter ball to get more at-bats, to get more experience and to turn the corner. And if he doesn’t, then I think there’s a good chance he’s going to spend next year in the minor leagues. They don’t want to give him away. And I heard this from a couple of different teams, that when they approach the Red Sox, the Red Sox know that they have a really talented guy in Middlebrooks who hits for power, but they want to give it every opportunity for that to happen with them, because they know if they trade him now it’s essentially going to be at a cut rate, and it’s not going to be at what they believe his value to be. So if he’s going to be in the big leagues next year I think winter ball is going to be a big part of it, and a good spring training would have to be a big part of it.”

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Read More: buster olney, giancarlo stanton, jackie bradley jr., Rusney Castillo
Why You Should Have Cared About This Red Sox Game: Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and hope for the future 09.02.14 at 10:37 pm ET
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(For the final month of the regular season, ‘€œClosing Time’€ will now be called ‘€œWhy You Should Have Cared,’€ looking beyond the final score — at a time when losses are arguably more valuable to the Sox than wins (for draft and waiver position) — for either meaningful signs for 2015 or simple aesthetic considerations.)

Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts collaborated on a historically precocious feat. (Getty Images)

Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts collaborated on a historically precocious feat. (Getty Images)

The revisionist fiction is intriguing.

What if the Red Sox had been carried by their rookies rather than weighed down by them? What if Xander Bogaerts had remained the elite offensive performer he looked like through the first two months of the year rather than the least productive hitter in the majors over the next two-plus months?

That concept seemed tantalizing in the Red Sox‘ 9-4 win over the Yankees on Tuesday night, when Bogaerts and Mookie Betts became the first pair of Red Sox rookies to homer in Yankee Stadium since 1952, and the first pair of 21-year-olds in half a century to go deep against New York in a single contest (and just the second duo — along with Jim Palmer and Curt Blefary of the Orioles in 1965 — to do it since at least 1914).

Bogaerts set one career high with four hits and matched another with two extra-base hits, going 4-for-5 with two singles, a double and homer. It was his first homer since July 29, and just his second three-hit game since the start of June.

Betts, meanwhile, had his first big league three-hit game, with singles to both left and right and a long homer to left-center that continued his dazzling performance as the everyday centerfielder with the Sox. In 15 games since his mid-August promotion for that role in the big leagues, he’s hitting .315/.413/.556 with three homers.

The leading role played by the Red Sox‘ young core may not have happened this year. But on Tuesday, Betts and Bogaerts offered a reminder of why the team will not turn its back on the potential upside of its young players going forward. The team likely will be more deliberate in how it integrates young players — and the signing of Rusney Castillo offers the team an avenue to allow Betts to spend more of next year in Triple-A — but the idea of a young, homegrown top-of-the-order hitter and a young, homegrown middle-of-the-order hitter remains a potential foundational strength going forward.

OTHER REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE CARED ABOUT TUESDAY’S GAME Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Joe Kelly, mookie betts, xander bogaerts,
With Xander Bogaerts to DL for concussion symptoms, Red Sox call up Carlos Rivero 08.24.14 at 5:56 pm ET
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Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts has been placed on the seven-day disabled list due to symptoms that suggest a mild concussion after being hit on the head by a Felix Hernandez pitch on Friday night.

“He still has some symptoms from a mild concussion, so until they subside or clear up, we’ve got to go through the protocol to get him cleared,” said Sox manager John Farrell. “He’ll be inactive for those seven days at a minimum.”

Bogaerts, whose DL stint is retroactive to Saturday, will remain in Boston rather than traveling with the team to Toronto. The 21-year-old, who is hitting .223 with a .293 OBP and .333 slugging mark, said that the head injury and its consequent time on the sidelines represent unfamiliar territory.

“I’ve never been on the DL at all. It will be a long five days without playing baseball, I guess,” said Bogaerts. “It’s been getting better. I feel good, but I think it’s just something to be safe, to make sure I’m fully healthy when I come back.

“I feel good but just listening to the training staff and what their opinion is, because I’ve never been hit with a ball in the head,” he added. “I’ve never had something like this. Just listen to them and we’ll go day-by-day.”

With Bogaerts sidelined, the Red Sox have called up versatile 26-year-old Carlos Rivero. It is Rivero’s first stint in the big leagues.

Rivero, originally signed out of Venezuela by the Indians, has bounced from the Indians system to the Phillies to the Nationals before signing a minor league deal with the Red Sox this offseason. He opened the year with Double-A Portland, hitting .214/.285/.316, but had shown enough in spring training that when Brock Holt moved up to the big leagues, he was promoted to Pawtucket. In 74 games with the PawSox, he’s hitting .286/.341/.407 with five homers and 36 RBIs while playing short, third and left field. He also has some minor league experience at first base and in right field.

Read More: carlos rivero, xander bogaerts,
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