Patience with Bogaerts, Bradley Jr., Holt has paid off for Red Sox

Xander Bogaerts Red Sox Rays
Xander Bogaerts slides into second base safely against the Rays. Credit: Getty Images

The Red Sox weren’t playing great baseball in mid-May by any means, hovering at or below the .500 mark. Then, matters became worse when the club went on a 10-game losing streak. Much of the blame was directed toward the team’s younger players who were playing everyday, particularly Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.,as they were not performing to the high standards many had set.

But, as is the case with most good teams, the Red Sox pulled things together and have rallied for six straight wins going into Sunday. With such a turnaround, and with the star-power the team possesses on its roster, it would be almost a sure thing it was the big-name players leading Boston out of its funk.

Wrong.

Due, in large part, to injuries to Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli, it’s been players under 25-years-old, the same guys who were blamed for the poor start to the season, igniting the recent victories.

“We’re relying on them,” manager John Farrell said. “They are getting everyday at-bats and their contributions are needed. You see their confidence grow with each passing day.”

Perhaps the biggest catalyst has been Bogaerts, as on May 10 he was hitting .172 (5-for-29) with one extra-base hit in the month of May. Since, he’s hit .392 (19-for-74) with 11 extra-base hits.


Another spark has come from another unlikely source in 25-year-old Brock Holt. Holt was recalled on May 17 when Will Middlebrooks went on the disabled list with a fractured finger. Holt has hit safely in 10 out of his last 12 games, hitting .362 in that span.

Also, to give the team a lift, Farrell changed the batting order around to have Holt leading off and Bogaerts in the No. 2 hole. The change has worked as the team has won six of those 10 games and the pair has given the Sox some much-needed stability at the top of the order. In the 10 games he’s led off, Holt has hit .298.

“[Brock] and Xander have gone an outstanding job in the No. 1 and 2 hole,” said Farrell.

The other player highly critiqued was Bradley Jr., whose lack of offense was the topic of much conversation. Over the 10 game losing streak he hit .120 (3-for-25), but in the recent win streak he hit .273 (6-for-22).

“More than anything, over the last 10 days or so [Jackie], Xander and Brock have started to feel comfortable and confident at the major league level,” Farrell said.

No game showed more evidence of the young guys coming around than in Saturday’s 7-1 win over the Rays, where the three players went 4-for-12 with two homers (Bradley Jr. and Holt), scoring four runs and knocking in four as well.

As tough as losing 10 games in a row was, the satisfaction of how well the younger players are playing now is even more gratifying as the team’s patience has paid off.

Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter: @RyanHannable



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.