7/27/2014 7:03 P.M. ET
Battling inconsistency, Bogaerts sits out finale
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
ST. PETERSBURG -- Though Red Sox third baseman Xander Bogaerts has shown more signs of life of late at the plate, he remains a bit inconsistent as he tries to work in some new mechanics.
For Sunday's finale against the Rays at Tropicana Field, Bogaerts was out of the lineup and Brock Holt made the start at third base.
What has manager John Farrell seen with Bogaerts of late?
"Trying to keep some momentum going with the adjustments he's continuing to work on daily," said Farrell. "We've seen it gain a little traction inside of a given game, but occasionally there's some reversion back to him being a little bit quick to the front side -- some of the same challenges that he's been facing for some time now."
Perhaps in a sign of how much things are weighing on him mentally, Bogaerts placed his helmet on the ground next to the plate after striking out on Saturday night, thinking he had ended the inning. There were actually only two outs.
"Kind of says that things might have been speeding up on him a little bit in that moment," said Farrell. "First and third situation, probably looking at it as a key moment in the game where he's trying to drive in a run. Obviously he lost track of the outs. I think [Saturday] was probably one of the first times, one of the few times we've seen him where the game situation, or what was unfolding inside it, maybe caused a little bit of a distraction to him. So, felt like today was a good day to give him a little bit of a breather."
Calling Lester a 'keeper,' Big Papi hopes ace stays
ST. PETERSBURG -- David Ortiz knows there are bound to be many trade rumors in the coming days, with the Red Sox in the rare position of perhaps being a seller leading into Thursday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline.
But he cringes when he hears his longtime teammate Jon Lester mentioned in trade talks.
"Like I always say, I'm just another player here where I've got no choice but to agree with whatever," Ortiz said. "[Working in] the front office is hard to do and they've been talking about trading Jon -- that sounds like a rebuilding, that type of situation. I don't know. There's not much I can say about it but they've probably got their reason to do it."
In last year's World Series, Ortiz's bat and Lester's arm were probably the two biggest components that carried the Red Sox past the Cardinals in six games.
"Hopefully it doesn't happen," said Ortiz. "Lester is one of the best pitchers in the game. That's a keeper."
• Farrell didn't seem surprised that Mike Carp went public with his desire to be traded. Carp, who wants more playing time, did get the start at first base Sunday.
"We've had a chance to sit down and talk," Farrell said. "I respect his desire to play more. And yet, when you've been very consistent with what his role was a year ago, that was to be the same role this year. And I understand where players want to get on the field more consistently. So I respect what he had to say."
• In the event that Felix Doubront remains with the Red Sox and doesn't get traded before Thursday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, he's likely to work primarily out of the bullpen for the rest of the season. But that doesn't mean he can't still project as a starter long term.
"This is still a left-handed pitcher who's got good stuff," Farrell said. "Consistency has been something that's always been a focal point from start to start, or in any given inning. That still remains. But when you start to grade out the physical abilities, you would think that he's certainly capable of more."
• Hitting coach Greg Colbrunn is close to working full-time again as he battled back from a brain hemorrhage sustained in early June.
"He thought he'd be ready to make this trip, but everything points to him making every road trip from here on out," said Farrell. "When we return [Monday], we fully expect him in the dugout for the full nine innings. We're looking forward to having him back."