The Red Sox salvaged a split of their doubleheader against the Blue Jays on Wednesday, winning the nightcap, 4-1, after dropping the opener by the same score. But Sox fans got a scare during that second contest when Rafael Devers left the game in the top of the sixth inning with what the team described as left quad tightness.
Manager Alex Cora said he doesn’t think it will be an issue for moving forward for Devers, who was already scheduled to sit out Thursday’s series finale prior to his injury.
“He feels a little bit tight,” Cora said. “I told him, ‘You don’t have to [push it]. I mean, you got the day off tomorrow. So we’ll take care of it.’ ”
Cora said Devers felt his quad grab after his double in the fourth.
“We’re not going to take any chances,” Cora said.
The hope is for him to be ready Friday for the start of the series with the Rays.
Dalbec running out of time to contribute?
Bobby Dalbec will get a lot of chances at the plate this week. As the Red Sox continue to face lefthanded pitchers, manager Alex Cora said that Dalbec will see a lot of playing time. This could be Dalbec’s chance to finally show whether he can play a part in this team’s playoff push.
It could be his final one.
With the trade deadline looming, it’s no secret the Sox have a significant hole at first base. Much of that is due to Dalbec’s lack of production. It’s why the Red Sox have been linked to Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. After high hopes coming into this year, Dalbec hasn’t produced and a demotion to Triple A Worcester might benefit him.
In 264 plate appearances leading into the second game of the doubleheader with the Blue Jays, Dalbec was hitting .216/.260/.394 with 10 homers.
Dalbec negotiated a walk in the Sox’ 4-1 Game 1 loss but he was also 0 for 2 with two strikeouts. It was Dalbec’s first walk since June 23, and fourth since June 6. He was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in the nightcap.
Cora said last week he was surprised by Dalbec’s lack of walks and reiterated that Wednesday morning.
“Here’s a guy that when we had him in spring training in 2019, he was controlling the strike zone,” Cora said. “We knew about the swing and misses, but he had good takes, quality takes, good swing decisions. I think sometimes he’s getting caught up on the result instead of the process.”
Dalbec’s struggles aren’t unusual for a rookie — especially once opponents get enough data to build a scouting report. That has been the case with Dalbec, whose OPS hasn’t been above .700 since April 23.
The Red Sox have given up on him being an everyday player this year, matching him strictly against lefties. Before the second game of the doubleheader, Dalbec hit .262 against lefties vs. just .186 against righthanders.
He’s been solid defensively, particularly for a player who came up as third baseman, but the Red Sox need offensive production.
“Hopefully he gets into a groove in a few balls in the air and give us a chance to win,” Cora said.
Brasier makes progress
Ryan Brasier has progressed to throwing bullpens. When Brasier might actually return to the fold, however, is still a huge question mark. Brasier took a comebacker off his head early last month in Fort Myers while working his way back from a calf strain. While Brasier intimated recently that his progression has been promising, the physical, Cora noted, won’t be Brasier’s only hurdle. There’s a mental piece to it, as well. “How he reacts to hitters, that’s going to be very important,” Cora said. “Is he going to be able to finish pitches and stay in there? There are other elements, not only physical, that he has to go through and hopefully at one point during the season, he is going to contribute.” . . . Marwin Gonzalez (right hamstring strain) ran the bases and felt good. Cora said there’s a good chance Gonzalez will begin a rehab assignment this weekend . . . Xander Bogaerts was in the lineup for the first time since Sunday after dealing with a wrist issue. He went 1 for 3 with a strikeout in Game 2.
Julian McWilliams can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @byJulianMack.