The Boston Red Sox were confident that Rafael Devers would be able to help their struggling offense despite only playing nine games for Triple-A Pawtucket prior to his call-up.
And it looks like they were right.
The 20-year-old had a huge game at the plate in Boston’s 6-2 win over the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park, going 4-for-4 with a double, three singles and an RBI.
Manager John Farrell showed faith in the Red Sox third baseman by moving him up in the lineup to the No. 6 spot for Monday’s game. It is unusual for a rookie to be moved up in the order after such limited time at the big league level. Andrew Benintendi, for example, hit at the bottom of the order for the entirety of his call-up last season, including during the American League Division Series.
But Devers showcased his talent with the bat Monday by smacking a curveball off the Green Monster in the fourth inning, and then shooting a 97-mph fastball to left field for a single in the sixth inning.
While Boston didn’t trade for a bat before the Major League Baseball trade deadline, Devers has filled the gaping hole the Sox had at third base, and already has become a feared part of Boston’s lineup. The Red Sox were able to get better without parting with any valuable assets, and should Devers continue to rake, Boston will look like one of the winners of the MLB trade deadline by putting their faith in Devers.
Devers became the fifth player in franchise history to record a four-hit game before turning 21 years old, joining Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Dalton Jones and Tony Conigliaro.
In his first six games at the big league level, Devers is hitting .417 with two home runs and four RBIs while showing impressive patience and bat control. He has shown why he was a touted prospect with his ability to clobber fastballs and adjust to breaking balls, while also showing a veteran-like calmness at the dish.
Devers’ presence already has made Boston’s lineup more daunting, and he’ll only get better as he continues to get MLB at-bats under his belt.
Here are more notes from Red Sox vs. Indians.
— Joe Kelly threw batting practice before Monday’s game and will start a rehab assignment soon. The right-hander has been on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain since the All-Star break.
— Carson Smith, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, is “close to facing hitters,” according to manager John Farrell, and could be headed out on a rehab assignment shortly.
— The Red Sox acquired right-hander Addison Reed from the New York Mets before the game Monday for three prospects. Reed has been one of the best relievers in baseball since the Mets acquired him in 2015, and his addition could give the Red Sox one of the best bullpens in baseball.
— Eduardo Nunez is 8-for-17 with two home runs, five RBIs and three runs in his first four games for the Red Sox.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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