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.
We check in for our weekly update from Bill Belichick and get his take on the Pats win over the Texans on the road, the benching of Stevan Ridley, and Antonio Smith's thinly veiled Spygate comments after the Texans lost.
Patriots’ defensive end, Rob Ninkovich, joins Mut and Merloni on a Patriots Monday after the team’s victory in Houston. Rob addresses the postgame comments of Texans’ defensive lineman Antonio Smith and the defense struggling against the run.
Tom Brady joined the show fresh off the teams 9th win of the season in Houston. He dismissed Antonio Smith's spying allegations and told the guys he has already moved on.
Eagle checks in to give Grande and Max a perspective on the Brooklyn Nets after they acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett via trade earlier this summer. He breaks down what he thinks the future holds for the Nets after completing this blockbuster deal.
Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell take some time and look back at the history between the Celtics and the Lakers, specifically the legendary rivalry between Magic and Bird. Legendary broadcaster, Ian Eagle, checks in to give the Brooklyn perspective as KG and Paul Pierce settle into their new home. Sean and Max also reveal the behind the scenes details surrounding Max’s famous “I got the ball” moment.
In the first hour of this edition of the Celtics Summer Cooler, Grande and Max analyze the trade that sent Fab Melo out of Boston. Also in this hour, Max sets the story straight about his history with Larry Bird.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier talk with Jon Lester about contract negotiations, losing a teammate like Jacoby Ellsbury, the World Series run, and looking ahead to 2014.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier are back witht he Hot Stove Show. They talk about Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the New York Yankees, the Red Sox signings of AJ Pierzynski and Edward Mujica, and wrap it up with Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester, who talks about the World Series run, losing a teammate like Ellsbury and looking towards 2014.
The Red Sox new catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, joined the show to discuss his reputation as the most hated man in baseball. He also said that he turned down multi-year deals to come and win in Boston.
Shawn Thornton joined the show and discussed the teams long layoff leading into their game tomorrow night in Montreal. He told the guys that he anticipates fighting being a part of hockey for years to come.
Lucic joins Danny Picard to talk some hockey after the team’s overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Danny asks Lucic about David Krejci’s game winner yesterday and hockey outsiders that are trying to change the game.
Shawn Thornton joined the show fresh off his big night at MSG and talked about his recent goal scoring prowess. Shawn said that no matter who his line mates are he is always going to be a fourth liner.
Kirk Minihane answered any and all questions from the listeners and John and Gerry.
The New York Post's Joel Sherman joined the show with his thoughts on jacoby Ellsbury's signing with the Yankees. He said that if it were up to him he would have given the money to Robinson Cano over Ellsbury.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. They discussed how Ron Burgundy has officially jumped the shark and played sound of him on Dan Patrick.
Peter King joins Mut and Merloni to go across the NFL and address the latest news. He discusses Kubiak's firing, Tomlin's fine, and Dennard's possible suspension.
Brick makes his weekly appearance on Mut and Merloni and discusses the Bruins loss to Montreal and the hit on Johnny Boychuck.
Michael Fabiano, fantasy expert and Yankees fan, gives his opinion on the Cano signing, discusses Julian Edelman's rising fantasy value, and actually suggests starting Ryan Fitzpatrick
We check in with Herm Edwards on the Pats, Stevan Ridley, and a great many things around the NFL.
We stir up a pot of crap when we debate the world cup and the popularity of soccer... pro callers, con-callers, plus Jack Edwards!
We tackle four topics at 4PM.
Ryder talks with WEEI.com's Chris Price about the Patriots upcoming game with the Cleveland Browns, and Stevan Ridley's status on the team.
Alex joins the show and gives his thoughts on the Jacoby Ellsbury deal, and what prospects the Red Sox have to fill the hole left in the lineup, or trade pieces to get a player who can fill the void.
John talks to Rob and gets his thoughts on the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox signing AJ Pierzynski, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with Miami.
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