Sorry to be so blunt, but to send Xander Bogaerts down would be monumentally dim-witted. The fact that it is actually being talked about is mind-blowing. The Boston Red Sox are ten games under .500 and there are no signs pointing towards the team improving. In fact, they seem to be going in the opposite direction. It is time for the Red Sox to sell; however, that is a different story for a different day. (Stay tuned for that column!)
Xander Bogaerts is the future of the Red Sox. He will be a face of the franchise, behind only Dustin Pedroia. Bogaerts has showed exceptional maturity and patience at the plate since being called up in late 2013. He was on the biggest stage when he was starting in the World Series. He was not phased. He started on Opening Day and was the starting shortstop up until the team signed Stephen Drew. While he was playing short, he was raking, hitting .296 with three home runs. He looked ready.
Since moving to third, Xander has struggled. Is there a connection? Who knows, but there is a definitive point in which he started to slump, and that was when Drew joined the team and pushed Bogaerts to third base. However, that is all this is: a slump. Players go through slumps all the time. Rookies go through slumps even more often. Just because he is going through a slump, by no means should he be sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket. A player should be sent down when it is clear that he is overmatched at the Major League level and needs to mature more in the minors. A player is sent to the minors when they need to work on something in particular, like Will Middlebrooks was in 2013 when the Sox wanted him to work on his patience and plate discipline. The minors are not meant for a player who is clearly ready to be an every day starter in the Majors and is just going through a slump.
The Red Sox are supposed to be seeing what they have in their prospects this season. They are supposed to be seeing if Xander Bogaerts can play shortstop. They are supposed to be letting young players fight through their slumps and prove that they can break out of a slump and perform at the top level.
Manager John Farrell said that they are going to stick with Bogaerts and not going to abandon someone because there are some growing pains along the way. I applaud Farrell for saying that; however, I do not put much stock in that quote. Where was that sentiment when Bogaerts was struggling in the field at the beginning of the season?
I believe they should and will keep Bogaerts in Boston, but there is no trusting the management after Ben Cherington stated that they needed a full season at shortstop to see what they have in Bogaerts, and then signed Drew the very next day.
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