The Red Sox gave struggling Jose Iglesias a rest Monday night, taking him out of the lineup against Tampa Bay ace David Price. Brandon Snyder, who has played sparingly in recent weeks, started at third base.
It was no coincidence that Xander Bogaerts started at third base for Triple A Pawtucket.
It was only the fifth start at third base for the 20-year-old Bogaerts, who until this season was exclusively a shortstop.
As the Red Sox sort their options for the final 55 games of the regular season, promoting Bogaerts to play third base in the majors is increasingly a possibility.
Bogaerts was 2 for 4 with a double against Lehigh and is hitting .279 with an .863 OPS. In 41 games, Bogaerts has eight home runs and 24 RBIs. He also has shown the plate discipline the Red Sox value, drawing 23 walks and striking out 29 times.
“Xander’s doing everything that he can to tell us when he’s ready to come to the big leagues,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Whether that’s this week or next month, that’s still in the debate or in the conversation. But it’s an exciting young player. We’re all looking forward to the day he begins his career, not knowing when that’s going to be.
“There’s still some things that are a work in progress for him defensively. Any time you go up against more veteran and accomplished pitching, that’s going to be another adjustment on his part. He’s a pretty exciting player.”
How comfortable are the Sox with the idea of playing Bogaerts at third base?
“Getting there” Farrell said. “I know one thing, just in the reports and talking with [Pawtucket manager] Gary DiSarcina, he feels more comfortable at short. You’d almost expect that. The more reps that we can get there to gain some comfort probably keeps that internal conversation alive. Whether or not that’s the position he comes to here, we’ll see.”
Iglesias is 4 for 40 (.100) in the last 11 games with no extra-base hits and one run scored. His batting average has dropped from .384 to .330.
War of words
The Rays twitter account mocked the Red Sox after Tampa Bay’s 2-1 victory.
Then the Red Sox Twitter account fired back.
Don’t worry @RaysBaseball we look forward to seeing you in Tampa in September for our home games at the Trop,” it wrote.
The teams have one series left this season starting on Sept. 10. The Sox are 10-6 against the Rays this season.
Rays obtain Crain
The Red Sox were interested in righthanded reliever Jesse Crain until the White Sox placed him on the disabled list last month with a shoulder strain.
But that didn’t stop the Rays, who obtained the All-Star for future considerations.
Crane, 32, has an 0.74 earned run average over 38 appearances and has struck out 46 over 36⅔ innings. The future considerations will be based on how much he pitches for the Rays.
The Red Sox, a source said, had interest in Crain until a setback last week. The team remains interested in righthanded relief help.
The reliever market is heating up. Along with Crain, Jose Veras (Astros to Tigers) and Scott Downs (Angels to Braves) were traded Monday.
The White Sox, meanwhile, are telling teams that they plan to retain starter Jake Peavy. That could well be posturing ahead of Wednesday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline.
No Ortiz suspension
Major League Baseball decided not to suspend David Ortiz for his actions in Saturday night’s game against the Orioles. Ortiz was ejected in the seventh inning after striking out swinging. He then destroyed the casing around the dugout phone with his bat and tried to push past Farrell and several coaches to get at umpire Tim Timmons. Ortiz was upset when Timmons called two high-pitch strikes earlier in his at-bat . . . The Red Sox will honor former manager Joe Morgan before Tuesday’s game. This is the 25th anniversary of “Morgan Magic.” Morgan became manager on July 14, 1988 after John McNamara was fired. The Sox won 12 straight and 19 of 20 to surge back into contention and eventually win the AL East. Morgan, a Walpole native, will throw out the first pitch. Seven of his former players — Tom Bolton, Oil Can Boyd, Roger Clemens, Dwight Evans, Spike Owen, Lee Smith, and Mike Smithson — are expected to attend. Ceremonies are expected to begin at approximately 6:45 p.m.
Lefthander Trey Ball, the team’s first pick in the June draft, made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League. Ball faced five batters in a game against the Rays. He allowed two unearned runs on one hit and one walk and struck out one. Ball, a high school pitcher from Indiana, signed for $2.75 million . . . It has been nine days since Dr. James Andrews examined Clay Buchholz and determined that his shoulder was structurally sound. But the righthander has yet to progress beyond long-toss sessions in the outfield . . . Drake Britton threw two perfect innings, striking out two. The rookie lefthander has not allowed a run in six relief innings since being called up . . . Lefthanded reliever Franklin Morales struck out the side on 15 pitches for Pawtucket in the first game of his rehabilitation assignment. Morales has not pitched since June 22 because of a strained pectoral muscle near his shoulder . . . In addition to the moment of silence before the game for ex-slugger George Scott, the team paused to remember righthander Frank Castillo. Authorities Monday recovered the body of the 44-year-old Castillo, who pitched for the Sox in 2001 and 2002, and briefly in 2004, after he apparently drowned Sunday at a lake northeast of Phoenix.