Xander Bogaerts has described this season as tough. From the losses to the unprecedented circumstances of having to play baseball in the midst of a pandemic, the Red Sox shortstop acknowledged all of it has taken somewhat of a toll, especially the losing.
“It definitely surprised me,” Bogaerts said of the team’s struggles, prior to Thursday night’s series opening 4-3 win against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla. “Especially over the last couple of years, the teams that we had. You kind of get used to winning a lot. This year hasn’t been like that. It’s been a weird season in general, but we want to go out there and win as much as possible. This year that hasn’t been the case.”
The Red Sox have had a lot of changes since they won the World Series in 2018. They have just seven players on their active 30-man roster that were on that team.
The Sox, specifically chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, have said they are building for the future. Bloom intimated that he wants Bogaerts and Rafael Devers to be key parts of that future. But rebuilds can be long, particularly for a player of Bogaerts’s caliber. Nonetheless, Bogaerts expects the Sox to contend next season, pointing out they have some key players missing, namely starters Eduardo Rodriguez and Chris Sale.
“I don’t think it will take a couple of years [to rebuild],” Bogaerts said. “I know we have some good players down in the minors, and hopefully we could see them soon. Obviously, we have some good guys on this team that have been doing pretty good as of late. Hopefully, we could get more of those guys onboard, feeling the way that they want to feel, because I know for some guys, it’s been a grind.”
Infielder Jose Peraza was optioned to the Red Sox' alternate site, a league source confirmed. Peraza, the Sox' Opening Day starter at second base, has hit just .225 with a .617 OPS in 120 plate appearances.
“He was pretty good in the first spring training, good in the second spring training,” said manager Ron Roenicke. “He started out [the season] OK. Just lately he hasn’t swung the bat like we had hoped.”
Peraza was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds last offseason. He was signed by the Sox to see if he could return to his 2018 form when he hit .288 for the Reds. However, he hasn’t turned the corner to this point.
Additionally, because the Red Sox virtually have no shot at the playoffs, the team wanted to give players such as Bobby Dalbec, Yairo Munoz, and Christian Arroyo more playing time, and optioning Peraza was a way of doing that.
“It’s tough. I’ve known Jose for a while,” Roenicke said. “It’s tough when you have to send somebody out. That’s a difficult conversation.”
Peraza has two more years of team control, but there’s a possibility he could be non-tendered by the Sox this upcoming offseason.
Righthander Zack Godley was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sept. 7, because of a flexor strain in his pitching elbow. Lefthander Matt Hall was recalled … Reliever Austin Brice was placed on the IL with a right lat strain. Pitchers Dylan Covey and Robert Stock were recalled … Nate Eovaldi (right calf strain) came out of his bullpen session Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia feeling good. Roenicke said there’s a chance Eovaldi can come off the injured list and pitch this weekend.