Bogaerts not following Bradley Jr. to Pawtucket

Bogaerts not following Bradley Jr. to Pawtucket
August 18, 2014, 6:45 pm
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BOSTON - When you take a look at Jackie Bradley Jr.'s numbers and then at Xander Bogaerts' numbers, there aren't many differences.

Before he was sent down to Pawtucket, Bradley Jr. was hitting .216 with 30 RBI, 45 runs and 111 strikeouts. Bogaerts is currently hitting .228 with 30 RBI, 46 runs, and 113 strikeouts.

Bradley Jr. is a wizard in center field. Bogaerts has split time at shortstop and third base, and his defensive miscues at shortstop have been well documented. They played huge roles in two Red Sox losses over the weekend series against Houston.

Bradley Jr. was sent down to Pawtucket on Monday. But Bogaerts will not be following him there.

While it becomes increasingly harder to defend Bogaerts, John Farrell has no choice in the matter. Looking back, it may have done Bogaerts wonders to spend a little time in Pawtucket, recalibrate, and come back to the Sox with a new-and-improved mindset both in the field and at the plate.

The hope was that the All-Star Break would do that, but things have gotten even worse for Bogaerts post-break than pre-break. He's hitting just .204 since the break, and .115 in August (6-for-52, two doubles). And you already know about his trouble in the field.

But unlike some of his fellow young teammates, Bogaerts has and will remain in Boston.

"We've seen stretches of consistency that maybe some others haven't," Farrell said of Bogaerts. "Mookie [Betts] has been more by redundancy of positions. Our roster couldn't co-exist with both he and Jackie on it. So it's one or the other. With Xander, again, you see improvement in particularly going to his glove side when he was moved back to shortstop and there's been some days where some growing pains have been involved. And we're accepting of that with all young players. And yet he's back in the lineup tonight to hopefully put behind him the last couple of days and look forward not back."

Nobody is giving up on Bogaerts, and a trip down to Pawtucket wouldn't have signaled as such (although I can already hear what sports talk radio would have sounded like the following day…). But Bogaerts' struggles at the plate seem to follow him onto the field, and vice versa. His confidence seems to be at an all-time low despite his trying to stay positive publicly.

But his struggles certainly aren't due to a lack of effort or care.

"The work ethic is more than satisfactory," Farrell said of Bogaerts. "He's a conscientious kid, accountable, and probably feels as horrible as anyone with some of the happenings of late. Confidence is going to ebb and flow with every guy."

If Bradley Jr. does come back a better hitter, you have to wonder if the team made the wrong decision by not sending Bogaerts on the same shuttle down.

*****

Bradley Jr. is in tonight's PawSox lineup, batting first and playing center field.

Also in the lineup? Allen Craig, who begins a rehab assignment tonight and is batting third.

"He'll get at-bats three of the next four days in Pawtucket. DH tonight, and look to get him on the field Wednesday and Thursday."

Craig was put on the DL on Aug. 5 with an injury to his left foot.

As far as David Ross goes, Farrell indicated before the game that Ross would go through some more workouts today and based on those would determine if Ross would be activated for Tuesday's game.