No controversy here: Drew the SS over Bogaerts

No controversy here: Drew the SS over Bogaerts
August 27, 2013, 6:45 pm
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BOSTON -- Surrounded by reporters in the Red Sox dugout at Fenway Park for the first time since being called up for the team's previous West Coast trip, Xander Bogaerts made it clear: He's a shortstop.

About an hour earlier, Red Sox manager John Farrell made it clear: Stephen Drew is his shortstop.

At first glance, this would seem like a controversial issue. But it's not.

Farrell's reasons for sticking with Drew -- even against Baltimore Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen on Tuesday night -- are good enough for Bogaerts, who, while letting everyone know he's a shortstop, also made it clear that he's more than happy to just be part of the team for the rest of the year.s

"These guys played 120 games without me, so I'm just here to contribute," said Bogaerts before Tuesday's game against the Orioles. "I'm just here to contribute and do the best I can to hopefully win some games when I'm in there."

The left-handed hitting Drew gets the start at shortstop on Tuesday against the lefty Chen. Even though the splits don't necessarily say that's the right decision, Farrell is sticking by his shortstop.

"I'm not going to turn away from Stephen Drew," said Farrell. "He's been a very good player for us. And probably game seven, after he came back from the DL to now, he's been one of our most consistent hitters. He's been a very good shortstop, defensively, for us. And I just don't want to let the splits of a given starter determine and cause to turn away from a guy who's been very good for us."

In the same pregame press conference, Farrell continued to compliment Drew's play this season, and in essence, continued to defend his decision to start Drew over the right-handed hitting Bogaerts against a lefty.

"To sit here and say that he's 'earned' the right to be against and start against lefties would be short-sighting an awful lot that he's done over a long period of time," said Farrell, while pointing out that Drew homered off a left-handed pitcher in San Francisco last week.

"He's technically sound," added Farrell about Drew. "He might not show you the flash that some other shortstops do. But as far as turning a double play and making every play at different points or critical points in the game, he's very dependable."

That's not to say Bogaerts isn't and won't be dependable. But with Middlebrooks seeing success at third and Farrell's determination to stick with Drew at shortstop, right now, Bogaerts is simply a utility player.

And ultimately, a shortstop.

"Oh, definitely a shortstop," said Bogaerts, when asked to pick between that and third. "That's where I feel more comfortable. But to get to the big leagues this year, I had to play some third base.

"I liked it, I liked it," added Bogaerts about his short time at third base. "In the [World Baseball Classic] I played there sometimes, and that made it a lot easier for me. But shortstop is definitely my more natural [position]."

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