Red Sox notes: Xander Bogaerts slowed by injured ankle

Rob Bradford
February 16, 2020 - 2:55 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Of the Red Sox issues, this doesn’t appear to be a big one. But certainly, the news that Xander Bogaerts is beginning spring training with an ankle ailment doesn’t help siphon much-needed optimism into the Sox’ corner.

Red Sox interim manager Ron Roenicke and Bogaerts both revealed Sunday that the shortstop wouldn’t be participating in full capacity when spring training kicks off Monday due to a left ankle injury suffered while training in Aruba a few weeks back.

“It’s getting better," Bogaerts said. "Was doing some workouts back at home and it got a little sore so I’m taking it a little slowly now."

The good news for Bogaerts is that the ankle isn't the same one he previously missed time because of in 2018.

"Spring Training I don’t think there’s any reason for us to force it," he said. "I’ll get going as soon as possible. Just trying to make sure to get it right and when I start, I can finish.”

He added, "Obviously you come to Spring Training, you see a lot of the guys you haven’t seen in a while you want to be on the field with the boys and be around the coaching staff and stuff like that. I’ve got to take it slow, take my time, I’ve got to be smart about it and hopefully have a long, healthy season. So don’t let this little thing affect my whole season."

- Two position players have been excused from the first day of workouts Monday, Rafael Devers and newly-acquired Cesar Puello.

Devers and his girlfriend just welcomed their second child, with the third baseman possibly making it to JetBlue Park from the Dominican Republic Tuesday.

Puello, an outfielder from the Dominican who signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox, is sorting through Visa issues.

- Roenicke admitted that as of early Sunday afternoon he hadn't formalized what he was going to say to the entire team Monday, which is when the ownership group is also supposed to be in attendance.

"So I thought about it a little bit, but to be honest I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to think about it like I usually would," he said. "I know when I was in Milwaukee I knew exactly what I was going to say and had plenty of time to prepare for it. I was hoping to be able to do that today but I’ve got that managers things up north we’re going to. Although there’s a drive up there so I’ll think about it on that drive but yeah I’ve thought about it a little bit but not like I would have liked

"There are some things I think I should address about some of the craziness that’s happened. ... I think they’re important. I think it’s important to talk to the team on the first day to kind of set the tone of what you’d expect and what can get us to the point of where we need to be. I don’t know if John or Tom will speak tomorrow, I'm not sure, but I think they kind of feel the same way. Things are a little bit different this year so the message may be a bit different or it could be exactly the same thing. Ideally you want it the same way because you want these guys’ mindsets to be the same and not worry about all the stuff that’s happened outside of what we do on the field."

- While there are scenarios that would introduce the idea of putting Jackie Bradley Jr. in right field at Fenway Park -- especially with the addition of Kevin Pillar and Alex Verdugo -- Roenicke doesn't sound like someone who is quick to take Bradley Jr. out of his usual spot.

"Well the hard part would be, Jackie is a gold glover in center," he said. "Not just won a gold glove but he’s gold glover. So to think about him moving off of there it’s not really something I’d like to do. The thing is when I saw him last year, because of trying to get away from - getting another right-hander in left field so slide Benny over and slide Jackie over, he was unbelievable in right field so I know he can do it at a high level and certainly, I don’t know if it’s a gold glover in right field but probably is. so we have to look at that and look at - I’ve never really seen Verdugo play other than the one series against us. And I have really haven’t paid attention to him defensively I don’t know how good he is. if he’s a great center fielder maybe you think about it."

Bradley Jr. has. Played 64 big league games in right field, last playing the spot in 2018 when he manned right 18 times. Pillar played in 27 games as a right-fielder for the Giants last season, with Verdugo serving as the Dodgers right-fielder 25 times in 2019.