Rest comes at the right time for Bogaerts

Rest comes at the right time for Bogaerts
July 17, 2014, 8:00 pm
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It's been a roller coaster season for Xander Bogaerts. Getting away from it all was the best thing that could happen to him.

But for the self-proclaimed "baseball freak", that isn't so easy.

Bogaerts is consumed with baseball - so much so that he said he watched most of the Home Run Derby and all of the All-Star Game.

Now that's dedication. So to be stuck in the slump that he's in must be eating away at him.

Bogaerts went from a .252 hitter on May 13 to a .304 hitter on June 3. When he steps in the batter's box Friday night, he'll do so with a .235 average.

Yeah, it's been that bad for the Sox future everything lately. Bogaerts hit a measly .135 in June and even as the weather heated up in July, the bat remained cold. He's hitting .132 this month with a slugging percentage of .132 and OPS of .302.

"I think the four days gives guys a chance to mentally and physically take a break and get away from the game a little bit," John Farrell said. "Xander's been going at it pretty hard, not only in terms of what he's been working on pregame, and with every focus to be brought into the game, but he's played regularly as well. We've given him a couple of days here and there, but I think the break mentally and physically was needed for him and quite frankly for a number of guys."

Bogaerts got some rest and most importantly took his mind off the game for a bit - or tried to, anyways. But he along with others are still working hard to correct his mechanics and get back to what he knows.

But are there too many voices telling him one thing or another? He doesn't see it that way.

"I think that's good," Bogaerts said. "You're getting help from everyone. Everyone wants to help you, they want to see you back as the guy that you were. That's very helpful and I thank everyone that's helping me so far."

Nobody's helping more than Farrell and hitting coaches Greg Colbrunn and Victor Rodriguez.

"The one thing we've been focusing on is for him to get started a little bit earlier and have a more gradual load, or get to his loaded position," Farrell said. "When he's late then it becomes rushed, then it becomes hard to the front side. That's where some spin on some pitches are hard to read. So it's a matter of slowing the game down, beginning his load a little bit earlier in the pitcher's windup."

So as the Sox embark on the post-All-Star Break journey, they better bring their bats with them this time. Bogaerts was asked what needs to be different in the second half for the Sox to turn things around, and the answer isn't very shocking.

"Timely hits, maybe?" he said. "Hitting some hits in opportunities when we've got guys on base? Just small things, moving the runner over, get one run at a time, because the team that gets the most runs, that's the one that wins."

Ah yes, it's all starting to make sense now. Hopefully that translates at the plate.