USA Today Sports

We have an idea when Xander Bogaerts will be returning

Rob Bradford
April 21, 2018 - 8:03 pm

When we next see the Red Sox playing in Fenway Park, the plan is for Xander Bogaerts to be part of the action.

Alex Cora told reporters prior to the Red Sox' game against the A's Saturday night that Bogaerts is scheduled to return from his ankle injury next Friday. He has been out since experiencing a small crack in his talus bone on April 8.

Bogaerts is scheduled to play in two rehab assignment games with the PawSox at McCoy Stadium Tuesday and Wednesday. If all goes well then the shortstop will rejoin the Red Sox for their series opener against the Rays.

"Talking to him, he feels good running," Cora told reporters. "Defensively is the thing that worries him. Changing direction. Going full blast in or turning double plays."

At the time of his injury, Bogaerts was one of the hottest hitters in the major leagues, hitting .366 with 1.111 OPS in nine games.

Brock Holt has filled in admirably since Bogaerts went down, coming into Saturday having hit .300 (9-for-30) with an .810 OPS. Tzu-Wei Lin -- who has gotten five starts at shortstop -- has also excelled, totaling a .375 batting average and .974 OPS. 

The Red Sox entered Saturday with the best batting average (.351) from the shortstop position.