NORTH PORT, Fla. — Xander Bogaerts has yet to play in a spring training game and it could be another five days before he does.
Bogaerts, who has a sore right shoulder, has resumed throwing and is scheduled to take batting practice on Tuesday. The tentative plan is for him to DH this weekend.
“Just the throwing part of it we have to be careful with. But we feel very comfortable where he’s at right now,” manager Alex Cora said Sunday.
Cora said there is nothing structurally wrong with Bogaerts’ shoulder.
“He felt it and we were proactive,” the manager said. “We didn’t want him to feel worse so that’s why we shut him down.”
Bogaerts is anxious to play, but Cora has said there will be ample time for him to be ready for Opening Day on April 1.
Danny Santana added
The Sox announced their signing of 30-year-old utility player Danny Santana to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.
Santana would earn $1.75 million if he makes the team, with $1 million in incentives. He gets a $100,000 bonus if he opens in Triple A.
Santana underwent a UCL repair on his right elbow in September after hitting .145 with a .511 OPS in 15 games for the Rangers. He was later non-tendered.
At the time of surgery, Santana wasn’t expected to be ready until late March. That suggests he’s unlikely to be ready to start the season.
In 2019, Santana hit .283 with an .857 OPS for Texas, with 57 extra-base hits and 21 stolen bases. He played in 130 games and started at seven positions.
“It’s a good addition to the organization,” Cora said. “Switch hitter that can hit the ball out of the ballpark. He can play multiple positions. He can run, too. So glad he decided to sign with us.”
The Sox scouted Santana in the Dominican Republic over the winter and a few weeks ago in Miami.
“We’re comfortable where he’s at in his throwing progression,” Cora said. “Obviously he’s not a full go in that aspect, but he’s building up, which is a positive for us.”
Take a day
The Sox have a scheduled day off on Monday and no baseball activities are scheduled. Cora wants the players, coaches, and staff to take a break. A few players will report for workouts, but that’s it.
“It’s been — what? — 25 days, 26 days already since everybody got here in mid-February, so a good day off to recharge and be ready to go on Tuesday,” the manager said.
One concern will be for the players to be mindful of coronavirus protocols while away from the park.
“We have to take care of us, and we’ve done an amazing job with that,” Cora said. “But it’s an off day, and an off day here. I don’t know, hopefully it rains and it’s cold [Monday] and there’s no temptation of going to the beach or going to an outdoor restaurant.”
Cora said the Sox send reminders to the players about their responsibilities, along with examples of incidents that occurred with other teams.
Matt Barnes sharp
As he prepares for what could be his final season with the Red Sox, Matt Barnes pitched a perfect fourth inning in his first appearance of the spring, striking out two including Ronald Acuña Jr. Barnes will be a free agent after the season. He’s also a good candidate to be traded if the Sox fall out of contention . . . Backup catcher Kevin Plawecki was reinstated from the COVID-19 related injured list and returned to the 40-man roster. Outfielder Franchy Cordero remains on that list and has not yet been cleared to play. “There’s still one more step as far as letting him work out,” Cora said. “I thought he was supposed to be there [Saturday], but no. It seems like it’s taking longer than expected.”