NEW YORK — June can’t end soon enough for Xander Bogaerts.
Bogaerts entered this month with a full head of steam, looking like one of the Red Sox’s most potent offensive threats. He has since hit a wall, and Boston’s coaching staff is doing everything it can to get the rookie back on track.
“Those adjustments are in the works,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Sunday’s game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. “His timing is off — we recognize that — and there’s some things that are tangibly different right now than when he was in a stretch where he was impacting the baseball with regularity. That is being addressed in early work, it’s being addressed in regular BP and while it’s being accomplished more readily at that speed, game speed is where some of that reverting back is taking place.”
Bogaerts wasn’t penciled into the Red Sox’s starting lineup Sunday, as Brock Holt moved to third base with Mookie Betts making his major league debut in right field. The Sox are taking a proactive approach in fixing what’s currently plaguing Bogaerts, though, as they’ve seemingly pinpointed where things are breaking down.
“We’re able to identify it through video and even through the subjective view from the dugout,” Farrell said. “These are things that are being talked about with him, shown on video and continue to work through and we will continue to.”
Bogaerts, who hit .327 (34-for-104) with a .407 on-base percentage and .897 OPS in May, is hitting just .140 (13-for-93) with a .182 on-base percentage and .440 OPS in 24 games this month. He enters Sunday’s action with just six hits in his last 66 at-bats, lowering his season average to .251 and his on-base percentage to .331.
“It’s not a matter of talent or work or commitment to work,” Farrell said. “It’s the execution during a game at game speed. We’ve got to remain patient, we’ve got to keep working at it and that’s what we’re doing.”
It’s easy to point to Bogaerts’ transition to third base following shortstop Stephen Drew’s arrival as a potential factor in the young infielder’s decline. Bogaerts actually posted a few solid performances immediately after the position change, though, and Farrell doesn’t see any link between the shift and Bogaerts’ offensive woes.
“That has nothing to do with this,” Farrell said adamantly.
Perhaps Bogaerts can use the upcoming homestand as a springboard toward better days in July and beyond. The Red Sox think they have the answers, so it’s on Bogaerts to implement the adjustments come game time.
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