BOSTON -- For the first time this season, Xander Bogaerts will not be in the Red Sox starting lineup.
Manager John Farrell explained that it was a scheduled day off for the rookie shortstop, who got on base three times in Friday's 8-4 loss to the Orioles and has started each of Boston's 17 games leading up to Saturday.
"After a couple of long ball games, late travel, felt like today was the first day down for him," Farrell said. "He's played in every game so it's a chance to get another lefthanded bat in the lineup as well."
Utility infielder Jonathan Herrera will get the start at short in Bogaerts' place and bat eighth.
Though defensively Bogaerts has had his hiccups this season -- most notably his game-ending error in the bottom of the 9th inning of a 2-1 loss to the White Sox on Tuesday -- he has been steady at the plate. He carries a slash line of .271/.411/.376. He has one home run and only three RBI, but he has walked 11 times, proving that the patient approach that helped him shoot through the minor leagues hasn't abandoned him at the game's highest level.
"I think if you look at his track record through the minor leagues, he's demonstrated that strike zone knowledge," Farrell said. "What's been most encouraging as he's come to the major leagues is that he's maintained that. There hasn't been a willingness to expand the strike zone. I think it shows his emotional control at the plate. All of those are positive signs."