BOSTON --In what might a glimpse into his, and the Red Sox' future, Xander Bogaerts is expected to start at third base for Triple-A Pawtucket tonight against Lehigh Valley at McCoy Stadium.
Bogaerts is a shortstop by trade, but -- with Jose Iglesias staking his claim to a major-league job with his work at third base in place of Will Middlebrooks -- the Sox may be looking to 2014 and beyond. Stephen Drew's contract is up at the end of the season and Iglesias seems ready to take over as the Sox' starting shortstop next season. Bogaerts could be moved to third, which would make Middlebrooks available for trade as the deadline approaches on Wednesday.
“I think Xander’s doing everything he can to tell us when he’s ready to come to the big leagues," said manager John Farrell. "Whether that’s this week or next month, that’s still in the debate or conversation.”
Bogaerts has played four games previously this season at third, without making an error in six chances. In 40 games with the PawSox, he's batting .273 with 8 home runs, 24 RBI, a .377 on-base percentage, and .476 slugging percentage.
“[He's] an exciting young player," said Farrell. "I think we’re all looking forward to the day when he begins his [major-league] career. But there’s still some things that are a work in progress for him.”
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Left-handers David Price and Felix Doubront will take the mound Monday evening in a matchup of Wednesday’s Red Sox loss to the Rays at Fenway Park. The game was rescheduled after Thursday’s rainout.
“We hope it’s a very good pitching matchup again,” said Farrell.” And five days ago we hope it’s the reverse of what we experienced.
"Price was outstanding. He forced us to swing the bat early in the count. He threw a lot of strikes. We’ll see how he comes out tonight. If he’s got that same type of command from the get-go, in situations like that we might have to be a little more aggressive early in the count. But we expect this to be a very well-played game.”
It’s unusual to have two pitchers match up again so quickly after their previous outing.
“I think it helps both the pitcher and the hitter, crazy as that may sound,” Farrell said. “The familiarity is there. There hasn’t been anything in between each guy has walked to the mound. It’ll come down to pitching ahead in the count.”
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Right-hander Clay Buchholz, who has not pitched since June 8 because of inflammation of the bursa sac in his shoulder, threw in the outfield before the game. Farrell said Buchholz was expected to make 40-50 throws.
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Iglesias and Jarrod Saltalamacchia are getting the night off. Brandon Snyder is playing third, batting ninth, with Ryan Lavarnway behind the plate, batting seventh.
Lavarnway is 2-for-7 in his career against Price, while Snyder is 1-for-4.