The Red Sox demoted center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to Triple A Pawtucket on Monday. But Xander Bogaerts, the team’s other struggling rookie, started as usual at shortstop.
Bogaerts went 0 for 4 in Monday night’s 4-2 loss to the Angels. He is hitting .226 with a .632 OPS. Statistically, he is one of the poorest hitters in the American League.
Bogaerts was hitting .304 with an .859 OPS on June 3. He hit .151 over the 58 games that followed with a .189 on-base percentage and a .220 slugging percentage.
Bogaerts is 3 for his last 34 with nine strikeouts. The 21-year-old has appeared overmatched for much of the summer.
“We’ve seen stretches of consistency that maybe some others haven’t,” manager John Farrell said.
The Sox have shown extraordinary patience with Bogaerts, who has only 60 games of experience in Triple A.
“The work ethic is more than satisfactory. He’s a conscientious kid. Accountable and probably feels as horrible as anyone with some of the happenings of late,” Farrell said.
Bogaerts botched a play in the field on Sunday that led directly to the Houston Astros scoring five runs in a six-run second inning. He was downcast afterward and said, “I think it’s time to stop messing up so much, you know? I’m going out there every day, you know? I’m trying the best I can.”
The Red Sox are working with Bogaerts with doing a better job of anticipating plays and making better decisions.
“Seemingly there’s been a couple of things that have gotten in the way of that [in recent games],” Farrell said.
Bogaerts showed patience and power in the minors then contributed significantly to the Red Sox last season, hitting .296 in 12 postseason games with an .893 OPS. He started the final eight games of the playoffs.
“Part of that is dealing with the expectation here, his personality and how he handles all that,” Farrell said. “This is part of growing up as a 21-year-old in the big leagues.”
Castillo on radar
The Red Sox are one of the leading contenders for Rusney Castillo, a 27-year-old Cuban outfielder. The free agent is considering offers and is expected to select a team in the coming days.
The 5-foot-9-inch Castillo is a speedy player with an average arm and a solid approach at the plate. The Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, Tigers, and others have submitted bids.
Castillo is being represented by Roc Nation Sports, the agency headed by music mogul Jay-Z.
Adding Castillo to a roster that already includes Bradley, Mookie Betts, Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig, Brock Holt, Daniel Nava, and Shane Victorino would suggest the Red Sox are amassing chips for trade purposes this offseason.
Ross set to return
Look for the Red Sox to activate catcher David Ross from the disabled list on Tuesday. He went through a full workout before the game.
Ross has not played since Aug. 1 because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot. Dan Butler has served as the backup catcher since, starting three games.
Surgery for Herrera
Utility infielder Jonathan Herrera, who was on the Opening Day roster and played in 42 games before a demotion to Pawtucket, will miss the remainder of the season after having surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow. Herrera, who turns 30 in November, will be eligible for arbitration after the season and is a non-tender candidate . . . Outfielder Josh Hamilton was out of the Angels’ lineup for the second consecutive game. He is 5 for 38 with no RBIs in his last 10 games. Angels manager Mike Scioscia suggested Hamilton would return to the lineup on Tuesday . . . David Ortiz’s double in the fifth inning was the 544th of his career. He passed Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn for sole possession of 29th place all time. Manny Ramirez is next with 547 . . . Christian Vazquez threw out two runners trying to steal second. He has caught 6 of 14 since his call-up . . . The Sox are 8-8 this month . . . Angels star Mike Trout has homered in every AL park except Fenway and Minnesota’s Target Field. But Trout, 2 for 4 on Monday, is 15 of 32 with five doubles in seven games at Fenway.