The on-field opportunities for Xander Bogaerts have been limited. But that has not diminished the impact of his time in the big leagues.
The Red Sox called up the 20-year-old last month because they wanted an impact player — preferably a right-handed one — who could offer depth on the left side of the infield. Based on his performance in Pawtucket, the superprospect clearly represented that.
But while he’s played in just 13 games (including Sunday night, in which he’s starting at third for Will Middlebrooks), thus limiting his on-field training for a future in the big leagues, Bogaerts has been able to make — and receive — an impression both on and off the field.
“He’s a very graceful defender. Right now, he looks more comfortable at short than he would at third, which you’d expect because of the number of games played there. But he’s blended in well. He’s been all eyes and ears. He asks great questions,” said manager John Farrell. “This has been invaluable, the time that he’s been here so far. He’s got a bright future.”
That thought from Farrell reflects on Bogaerts’ determination to do just that, and the process he follows in pursuit of that goal. Bogaerts acknowledged recently that he’s “trying really hard to be something great,” and the way in which he’s going about training for a future big league role underscores that commitment.
“I think the individual person is going to take advantage of that more than others,” said Farrell. “He’s a smart kid. He’s very respectful, and I mean that in a good way. He doesn’t come across as he knows it all. He’s all eyes and ears. … His comment of wanting to be great, that’s what you hope every young player aspires to. That means he’s going to put in the work, make the sacrifices that we talked about with Mariano [Rivera]. Whether he achieves that status, who knows? But he’s wanting to put forth that effort.
OTHER RED SOX NOTES
– The season is now over for Triple-A Pawtucket after the PawSox fell in the Governor’s Cup to Durham, but the Red Sox will hold off on any call-ups — Farrell suggested that there would be “a couple guys joining” the big league roster — until after Monday’s off-day. Interestingly, the Red Sox do plan on bringing some pitchers to Boston without adding them to the roster and exposing them to the big league environment. (Right-handers Matt Barnes and Anthony Ranaudo, both of whom seem likely to represent big league rotation depth options in 2014, would seem like obvious candidates as players who are not yet on the 40-man roster and who have assumed a full year’s worth of innings.)
As such, the Sox plan on having PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur join the team for a few days on Tuesday, after which he will depart and Pawtucket manager Gary DiSarcina will join the coaching staff.
– Will Middlebrooks‘ absence from the lineup, Farrell said, is a function not of his 0-for-17 slump, but instead the fact that he is one of several Sox players in the throes of the grippe.
– Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been subject to considerable praise of late for his two-way impact on the Red Sox. In adding to the chorus, Farrell offered interesting perspective on one category that he considered particularly noteworthy in terms of explaining his offensive strides.
“We’re watching a guy start to come into his own as both an offensive and defensive player. He’s certainly gained confidence throughout the course of the year. Just inside this year, which I can speak more directly to, his game-calling and executing a game plan has really taken a step forward, more specifically to the reading of swings and pitch selection that might follow. And he’s more of a complete hitter,” said Farrell. “Doubles reflect a more complete hitter than a home-run total, and to see where he’s reversed that, where he might have had twice as many home runs as doubles last year, it’s the reverse of that this year, and to me, that’s hitting to the situation or what a pitcher is trying to do to him rather than looking to be one-dimensional and looking to hit the ball consistently.”
Saltalamacchia had 25 homers and 17 doubles along with a .222/.288/.454 line in 2012; in 2013, he’s hitting .263/.334/.454 with 13 homers and 36 doubles.
Christian and Chris talk about overrated Pats players this season and in the past and then get into the QB issue on the team. They talk about all three guys, what they bring to the table and if they can keep their head above water without the best QB in the league for 4 weeks. Then...Karlos Williams was released by the Bills - should the Pats consider adding the overweight second year running back? Christian also brings up Dante Scarnecchia and gets Price's opinion on if this one man can truly improve a shaky offensive line.
Christian Arcand is in for Tanguay for NFL Sunday with Chris Price. The guys talk about the victory over the Bears, Jimmy G's progress and their expectations for the Pats defense this season. Arcand thinks that there are more holes on the D than some fans realize.
We check in with Bill Belichick after the first Preseason game for our weekly "Patriots Monday" discussion.
Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.
Isaiah Thomas talks to Glenn and Lou about why he loves Boston, the NBA Money Bump, oh, and some Durant guy
Danny Ainge joins Glenn and Christian to explain the Celtics draft process; and he also discusses the trade rumors that permeated the night.
Joe and Tim are joined by US Olympic Medalist and captain of the US Women's Gymnastics team Aly Raisman, as she was at Fenway to throw out the first pitch before the game.
Joe and Tim talk with Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts after the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1
David Price pitched a gem and Andrew Benintendi makes one of the top highlight catches of the year as the Sox take the first game of four against the Rays, 6-2. Christian Arcand recaps the game and takes all of your Sox calls.
Joey Mac joins Ken Laird on his Saturday show to discuss the David Backes addition and Loui Eriksson departure in NHL free agency
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
The 8am hour Friday podcast with Kirk Minihane joined by Butch and Bradford. The guys start with the posted show host job description for Dino's replacement, then get back into the Brady preseason playing time discussion.
Kirk, Butch and Bradfo discuss a new NFL committee that has been formed with Goodell and Kraft, and whether Pats fans should have a problem with it.
Butch, Kirk, and Bradfo debate whether or not they believe the Red Sox will make the playoffs by seasons end
"Angry Lou" goes off yesterday's loss to Tampa Bay, in the process breaking the record for a human talking without taking a breath.
Tom Brady will play in tonight's Preseason game vs. the Panthers. Glenn, Lou, and Christian discuss the decision to play Brady.
Glenn, Lou, and Christian take a look at the Pats' O-Line, and the Tight End Position; focusing on A.J. Derby vs. Clay Harbor.
We discuss the role Mingo will play for the Patriots defense.
We discuss the ridiculous assignment of the selfishness label to Tom Brady this week (based on...?) and where it might be coming from.
In honor of tonight's game we look back at four moments where the Patriots and Panthers cross paths.
Kirk Minihane sits down with former producer Chris Curtis? Or is it current producer Chris Curtis? Either way, Kirk and Chris talk about what happened in their previous tenure together, where it went wrong, and why Curtis is now back with the show.
Kirk Minihane and Gary Tanguay sit down together on Enough About Me for the first time. These two divisive figures talk about Gary's career and his late evolution into a controversial broadcaster. Nobody is spared from Kirk and Gary's wrath on this episode and it will surely make some people at the two sports radio stations very uncomfortable.
The heart of draft season is upon us and as Jim and Pete gear up for their own big draft this weekend, this week’s podcast is filled with tips on Draft Strategy and how work your plan. Jim and Pete walk through the draft from the Elite players at the top, through the middle of the draft where you build your core, through the high upside targets at the back that can help steal you a league victory. Stars to sleepers and how to position yourself to get them are the topic of the day. Good luck with your drafts!
We are joined by David Amoyal or ESPNFC.com and GianlucaDiMarzio.com to talk about the transfer window closing and what may happen in the finals days of the summer.
Chris Price joins the show to discuss the Patriots and the reason Brady played in the third preseason game.More from this show