Friday, March 7, 2014
Are the Red Sox considering a promotion for Xander Bogaerts to Triple-A?
Bogaerts continues to hit for the Portland Sea Dogs, which brings up speculation that he might be headed to Pawtucket sometime soon (if not next month).
Fueling the speculation is the thought that Jose Iglesias may stay with Boston as a utility player, even when Will Middlebrooks comes off the disabled list. That would leave a spot for Bogaerts in Triple-A.
Here is the latest batch of numbers on Bogaerts:
Last 7 games: 12-for-23 (.522), 3 HR
Last 15 games: 21-for-57 (.368), 3 HR
Season: 48 Games. 58-for-192 (.302), 11 2B, 5 3B, 5 HR, 30 RBI
.393 OBP, .490 Slugging, .882 OPS
Here’s something else. In his last 13 games, Bogaerts has walked 11 times and struck out only five times.
“He’s managing his at-bats real well,” Sea Dogs manager Kevin Boles said.
Counting last year, Bogaerts has played 71 Double-A games (half of a season).
Others have spent brief times with Portland, including Dustin Pedroia (66 games) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (61 games). But they were drafted out of advanced college programs.
Another comparison is Iglesias, who played 57 games in an injury-filled year with the Sea Dogs in 2010. Iglesias was moved to Pawtucket the next year, at the age of 21. He was already on the 40-man roster, so the clock was ticking.
Considering that Iglesias struggled offensively the past two years, it can be argued that he should have begun 2011 in Portland.
Bogaerts is only 20 (birthday is Oct. 1), yet he shows the maturity to handle both success and adversity. The Red Sox could challenge him at Triple-A and not worry about him being overwhelmed.
If/when Bogaerts is promoted, it won’t be because he’s being rushed. Bogaerts is not yet on the 40-man roster (he will be on it before next year, at the latest).
If/when Bogaerts is promoted, it is unlikely that Salem starting shortstop Deven Marrero is moved up. He is batting .263 in this, his first full professional season. More likely is that Nick Natoli, 25, is moved up from Salem as a utility player and Derrik Gibson goes from utility to shortstop.
In Sunday’s games, Pawtucket starter Rubby De La Rosa came within one out of getting a decision, but lasted only 4 2/3 innings (83 pitches). His line: 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
Matt Barnes had been pitching well in his last six games, but his start featured a combination of some elevated pitches and a gusting wind blowing out. Barnes pitched 1 2/3 innings: 6 H, 7 R, 0 BB, 2 K (three home runs). His ERA ballooned to 5.62. See today’s story.
Salem starter Kyle Stroup (3.88 ERA) pitched seven strong innings: 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K.
Salem won 3-2, with only one hit. In the fourth, after a hit-batter and walk, Brandon Jacobs doubled two runs in. In the sixth, Salem scored on two walks, a stolen base (by Garrin Cecchini) and a throwing error on a pick-off attempt.
And finally a look at the American League East, now that Boston has taken two of three from the Yankees:
Red Sox 35-23
Orioles 32-25 (2.5 games back)
Yankees 31-25 (3)
Rays 31-25 (3)
Jays 24-33 (10.5)
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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