Red Sox: Bogaerts, Tazawa, Holt have exceeded expectations – Metro US

Red Sox: Bogaerts, Tazawa, Holt have exceeded expectations

Red Sox: Bogaerts, Tazawa, Holt have exceeded expectations
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Through 43 games the Red Sox are three games below .500,21-24, and a number of players are having sub-par seasons. David Ortiz is hitting just .221 with 18 RBIs, Daniel Nava is at .159 and is slugging .190, Mike Napoli is at just .211 (although he has been heating up of late) and Mookie Betts is at .239 with an on-base percentage of .293.

The pitching staff hasn’t been much better as Joe Kelly has an ERA of 6.24 and Rick Porcello’s number is up to5.07. Three out of the five starters to open the season have ERAs over 5.00. For the season overall, Red Sox starters have a combinedERA of 5.17, the second-to-worst mark in all of baseball, and the worst in the American League.

Despite all these under-performing players, there have been a few players playing well:

1. Xander Bogaerts (.282, 2 home runs, 15 RBI)

The shortstop just had an eight-game hit streak snapped Monday, but Bogaerts has been swinging a good bat the majority of the season. His best game may have come this pastSunday when he went 4-for-4 with a double against the Angels. He has 10multi-hit games and this past week he forced manager John Farrell to move him up in the order, out of the No. 8 spot.

Defensively, in his second full season, Bogaerts has improved a great deal and also looks more confident in the middle of the infield. He’s taking more charge on fly balls in his general area, and overall is looking much better than he did last year on ground balls to his right side.

2. Junichi Tazawa (0-1, 1.80 ERA)

Tazawa has been the Red Sox’ best reliever this season. He has appeared in 22 games, almost half of them, and has posted an ERA just under 2.00. His 22 appearances are tied for eighth in all of baseball, three behind the Brewers’ Jeremy Jeffress. He’s been the guy Farrell has turned to when he needs a big out in the late innings, ahead ofKoji Uehara for the ninth.

Of those 22 appearances, he’s only allowed runs in four of them. He also went eight outings to open the season without allowing a run, and then went nine in a row until allowing a run this past weekend.

3. Brock Holt (.291, 1 HR, 11 RBI)

While Holt’s home run and RBI numbers aren’t the highest, the lefty hitterhas performed well on the whole this year. He struggled for a few weeks early on in May, but appears to have broken out of the slump. He started out the season hitting .386 with an on-base percentage of .471 during the month of April.

Holt has continued to be a valuable asset in the field, as he’sable to play almost anywhere. So far this season, he’s played six positions – all three outfield, third base, second base and shortstop. He’s only made one error.

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