Sox' Bogaerts excited for WBC; will play third base

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Sox' Bogaerts excited for WBC; will play third base

FORT MYERS, Fla. Xander Bogaerts, a native of Aruba, is looking forward to representing the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

Its going to be exciting, said the Red Sox highly regarded shortstop prospect. Those guys that that Ive played with growing up, its going to be fun playing with them again.

But with the Netherlands roster stocked with several highly regarded shortstops, including the Rangers' Jurickson Profar and the Braves' Andrelton Simmons, who both made their major league debuts last season, Bogaerts, rated by Baseball America as the Sox top prospect and the No. 58 prospect in all of baseball, will have to move off his usual position to compete for playing time at third base.

No problem, Bogaerts said, sitting in front of his locker in the clubhouse of the teams spring training complex Friday morning.

Just to be able to play and be in the lineup, thats whats important for me. And to be able to play and help the team win, thats important to me.

Since joining the Sox as an amateur free agent in August 2009, Bogaerts has not played anywhere but shortstop. He doesnt even remember the last time he played third base.

No, maybe when I was small in Little League, he said. But, no, not for a while. So itll be different.

Manager John Farrell said earlier in the week that Bogaerts, who is in his first big league camp, will work out at third base before he leaves March 1 to compete in the WBC. Bogaerts hasnt yet begun working out there, but expects to in the next few days.

But there has been speculation that Bogaerts may eventually have to move off his natural position. He is listed as 6-feet-3, 175 pounds. At just 20 years old, on Oct. 1, there is a good likelihood that he will continue to fill out.

All of which has fueled the speculation that he will eventually move to third.

I dont think of it in that way, Bogaerts said. Because I know the Netherlands are full of shortstops. And for me to be able to play its going to be difficult to play at that position. So Im a shortstop right now its just that to be able to play I have to move off my position.

While Bogaerts considers himself a shortstop, he didnt rule out an eventual move.

Shortstop is going to be the position long-term, he said. Im, working hard trying to stay at shortstop. Thats the only position I know playing right now.

But, whatever to help the team win. Wherever they need me to play, Ill be able to contribute at that position.

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

Red Sox’ quotes, notes and stars from 2-1 loss to Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Notes, quotes and stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Rays:

QUOTES:

* "There's not much I can do about it now. It's kind of a waiting game and hopefully, the tests come back clean.'' -Andrew Benintendi, on the uncertainty surrounding his knee injury.

* "Sometimes, I like that, sometimes I don't because I'd kind of take a couple of quick outs in place of those to get a couple of more innings out there.'' -Drew Pomeranz on his career high 11 strikeouts.

* "That's probably the spot that looms the largest. Jackie's become more aggressive early in the count, but at the same time, that aggressiveness can work against you.'' -Farrell on Jackie Bradley Jr. swinging at the first pitch following a walk with the bases loaded.

NOTES:

* Drew Pomeranz recorded a career-high 11 strikeouts

 * Since moving to the leadoff spot, Dustin Pedroia has a slash line of .397/.418/.460 in 16 games.

* Pomeranz has yielded two runs or fewer in five consecutive starts.

* On the just-completed road trip, the Red Sox led in all but one game.

* Thursday's loss was the fourth this season in which the Sox allowed two runs or fewer.

 * The past 18 Red Sox losses have come by a combined 37 runs.

* Until Thursday, the Red Sox had won 20 of their past 31 day games.

* The bottom third of the makeshift Red Sox lineup combined to go 2-for-12.

* The Sox missed out on a chance to have an eight-win road trip, which would have been their first since 2011.

STARS:

1) Jake Odorizzi

The Rays started, facing a depleted Red Sox lineup, limited the Sox to a single run over seven innings, allowing just five hits and getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam by allowing just one run.

2) Mikie Mahtook

Mahtook was 0-for-34 when facing Drew Pomeranz in the seventh inning, but that didn't stop him from doubling home Steven Souza Jr with what proved to be the winning run.

3) Dustin Pedroia

The Sox couldn't generate much of anything at all offensively, but don't blame Pedroia. The leadoff hitter had three hits and a walk and was on base four times for the Sox.