Red Sox pregame notes: Xander Bogaerts starting at third for Pawtucket, ‘doing everything he can to tell us when he’s ready,’ Farrell says

July 29, 2013 - 2:58 pm

The start of the Xander Bogaerts era may be near. The Red Sox'€™ top prospect, who is a shortstop by trade but has been getting work at third base, including the start Monday, has been heating up with Triple-A Pawtucket and could soon merit a promotion to the big leagues. '€œXander is doing everything he can to tell us when he'€™s ready to come to the big leagues, and whether that'€™s this week or next month, that'€™s still in the debate, or in the conversation,'€ manager John Farrell said. '€œBut he'€™s an exciting young player, I think we'€™re all looking forward to the day that he begins his career, not knowing when that'€™s going to be." Farrell mentioned '€” on the topic of Jose Iglesias and Brandon Snyder '€” that he is '€œlooking to get a little more production out of the bottom third of the order.'€ After being promoted to the PawSox in mid-June, Bogaerts hit .214 with a .707 OPS in his first 14 games, drawing just five walks compared to 14 strikeouts '€” an adjustment period common of any player moving up a level. In the 25 games since, however, he has batting .318 with a .955 while reaching base at least once in each contest. He is also striking out much less (15 times) and walking more frequently (17 times). Monday will be Bogaerts'€™ fifth start at the hot corner with Pawtucket. Farrell described his defense at the new position as '€œgetting there.'€ '€œI know one thing, just in the reports and talking to [Pawtucket manager] Gary DiSarcina '€” [Bogaerts] feels more comfortable at short, and you'€™d almost expect that,'€ Farrell said. '€œBut as much as we'€™ve tried to set a plan in place to rotate he and guys through that other position '€” [Brock] Holt being another one that we'€™ve done that with '€” the more reps that we can get there to gain some comfort probably keeps that internal conversation alive. '€œWhether or not that'€™s the position he comes to here, we'€™ll see.'€ Other Red Sox notes: -- Speaking of the left side of the infield, the struggling Iglesias (.200/.244/.213 in July) will ride the bench Monday vs. the Rays. Right-handed batter Snyder is getting the start against lefty David Price in his place. Farrell called it '€œjust a down day'€ for Iglesias, but did acknowledge he hasn'€™t been as successful at the plate of late. '€œHe'€™s been attacked early and often in the strike zone,'€ Farrell said. '€œWhen he'€™s fallen behind in the count, he'€™s expanding the zone on occasion. I can'€™t say he'€™s chased wildly by any means. Some of the balls that he had the benefit of falling in before haven'€™t been of late. He'€™s not striking out at an abnormal rate. He puts the ball in play. Some of those aren'€™t finding holes.'€ -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia is the other regular getting a '€œdown day'€ Monday. Ryan Lavarnway will play in his place behind the plate, with his powerful bat being one benefit of that. '€œGiven that we'€™ve pushed Salty of late, left-handed starter [Price], trying to get the strength of Lavarnway'€™s bat vs. the left-hander, we'€™ll see how it plays out,'€ Farrell said. '€œThe one thing that won'€™t waver is a guy who has an understanding of the strike, who is disciplined to it. How Price affects that, we'€™ll see.'€ -- Farrell doesn'€™t expect the outcome of the next two games '€” the teams'€™ final two before the non-waiver trade deadline at 4 p.m. Wednesday '€” to affect what the team may or may not do. -- Farrell said he had not heard one way or another about a potential suspension for David Ortiz'€™ tirade Saturday in Baltimore. According to the Globe'€™s Nick Cafardo, Ortiz will not be suspended.