It hasn’t been a pain-free season for Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
Bogaerts told The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier in a story published Monday of the discomfort he’s felt in his shoulder and wrist since colliding with Alex Verdugo in short left field while going for a fly ball in a game on May 20. Bogaerts even received cortisone shots in both areas to deal with the pain.
“I’ve dealt with it a lot since that incident,” Bogaerts told Speier. “I had to do what I had to do. I had to get a shot on both of them.”
While Bogaerts earned his fourth selection to Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the injury has had an impact on his swing. Since the collision, Bogaerts is batting .286 with a .361 OBP, .429 slugging mark and six home runs, per Speier.
“I feel pretty OK,” Bogaerts told Speier. “The messed-up part with that is you start changing your mechanics, where you want to swing to where you don’t feel any pain or you don’t feel much pain. Then your swing starts changing. Then when you feel good so you can get back, there are just so many bad habits that have been incorporated. That’s the frustrating thing. You can feel so good in BP and the cage, and as soon as the game starts, the first pitch you see, it’s like, ‘(Expletive), what the hell are you doing?’
“Your mind wants to do something but your body is doing something different. That’s also frustrating. There’s just so many bad habits.”
Bogaerts’ toughness has always been an underappreciated part of his game. Even receiving seven stitches in a game against the Chicago Cubs at the beginning of July didn’t take him out of the lineup for long.
In Bogaerts’ first full eight seasons in the big leagues, he played in at least 136 games per season except in the 2020 COVID campaign, in which he suited up in 56 out of 60 contests. He’s played in 116 out of 122 games this season.
In an era when players are always getting time off for load management, Bogaerts doesn’t adhere to that trend for better or worse.