What has happened to Mookie Betts’ bat?
The Boston Red Sox right fielder had a 2016 season to remember, as he was runner-up in the American League MVP voting thanks to his .318 batting average, .897 OPS, 31 home runs and 113 RBIs. But it’s very unlikely at this point that he’ll duplicate those numbers this season.
Betts entered Tuesday’s 10-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals hitting .266 with a .793 OPS, 18 home runs and 72 RBIs. And much of those power numbers came in the first half of the season, as he began Tuesday with only two homers and a .248/.315/.333 slash line after the Major League Baseball All-Star break.
“For periods of time, Mookie has gotten back into that approach that he had a year ago for the vast majority of the season, driving balls into right field on pitches away, then reacting and turning on balls that were in,” Farrell told reporters before Tuesday’s game, via the Providence Journal’s Tim Britton. “Then there’s been times where it looks like he gets a little pull-happy and there’s some balls in the air.
“He and a couple other guys, we’re still trying to have them hit stride, which they haven’t yet for a lengthy period of time.”
Betts has moved around a bit in the Red Sox’s lineup of late, but his new spot with Dustin Pedroia (more on him in a bit) on the disabled list appears to be batting second between Eduardo Nunez and Andrew Benintendi.
That’s where he was Tuesday night when he had a hit as a part of Boston’s monster eight-run fifth inning, as he went 1-for-5 with one run, two strikeouts and three left on base. And the strikeouts also have been a problem for Betts.
Let’s take a look at a few more notes from Tuesday’s game.
— Rafael Devers is making the most of his big league opportunity, as he’s become an instant standout with his clutch hits for Boston. And it turns out his defense has been pretty solid at third base, as he displayed by starting a triple play in Tuesday’s win,
“Even if he plays like he is the rest of his career, that’s a solid, average to a tick above average major league defender,” Farrell said, via MassLive.com’s Jen McCaffrey. “I will say this, in the period of time he’s been here, his defense has been better than anticipated or advertised.”
— Pedroia’s continued knee issues landed him back on the 10-day disabled list after playing just one game for the Sox last week, and Farrell presented an update on his condition before Tuesday’s game.
— Benintendi was removed from the game after being hit by a pitch, but it doesn’t appear to be anything worrisome for Boston.
— The 16th annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon continues Tuesday and Wednesday, and you can help strike out cancer by donating here.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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