Xander Bogaerts is the latest impactful player to have tested positive for COVID-19, and now the Boston Red Sox shortstop will be away from the team for an undisclosed amount of time.
But in addition to losing the physical presence of Bogaerts and the bat and glove that come with him, the Red Sox also will be without the key voice in the locker room.
“It’s tough,” manager Alex Cora said during a postgame press conference after Tuesday’s loss to the first-place Tampa Bay Rays. “Obviously, Xander is the leader of the team. He’s one of the best shortstops, if not the best shortstop in the league, and we’re going to miss him.”
Kyle Schwarber added: “I mean, (Bogaerts) is such a consistent presence and obviously he’s the most tenured guy here, correct? He’s been around here. He’s been through multiple postseason pushes, been through World Series championships. (We’ll) definitely miss his presence. We’ll all have to step up in the midst of him and all the other guys that are down right now.”
Cora confirmed the Red Sox got the positive test results during the game, which is why Bogaerts was pulled. Cora admitted that, given the quick-moving development, he was not sure when Boston’s shortstop would return.
Bogaerts now is among the 10 Red Sox players to have been placed on the COVID-19 related injured list.
“They’re not going to stop the tournament for the Red Sox,” Cora said. “We know that.”
Bogaerts compiled a team-best .297 batting average entering Tuesday’s game as he has 20 home runs and now 70 RBIs.