Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts, Mitch Moreland both need some DL time.

BOSTON, MA - JULY 17: Kendrys Morales
BOSTON, MA - JULY 17: Kendrys Morales /

The Boston Red Sox simply need to sit two wounded players – Xander Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland. Both are playing hurt and the results show it.

Since the All-Star break, the Red Sox offense has plummeted to depths rarely witnessed by Red Sox fandom – averaging about three runs a game. This is certainly not a eureka moment for anyone that follows the trials and tribulations of the home squad since it has been the topic du jour that even put the more traditional pitching hand-wringing a distant second. A season long debate.

The cure is relatively simple and that is the addition of a potent bat.  A slugger. Someone capable of giving opposing pitchers the shakes. But simple is achieved at a cost and so far the Red Sox have avoided that cost. So look at your lineup and two problems vis-a-vis swatting the ball jump out – Xander Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland.

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Bogaerts has a Silver Slugger for 2016 and another from 2015. Bogaerts also hit 21 home runs in 2016 and the word around the camp fire was expect more – possibly much more – of the same for 2017.  That will not happen.  Bogaerts bat has suddenly gone to mush. If bat Viagra was available then get the script filled.

In mid-June, Bogaerts was hitting .320 and now it is .284.  In the last 18 games just .154 with a lone home run and just eight RBI. Bogaerts is generally considered for the prestigious three slot in the batting order. Now? How low can you go doing the batting order limbo?

Next up is Mitch Moreland.  Moreland caught fire early on and was providing a cascade of extra base hits even leading the American League in doubles for a month. The left-handed hitting Moreland was producing as expected, but then came to his Marianas Trench type slump.

Moreland is at .238 after being at .284 in mid-June. The last 22 games for Moreland have been a tutorial in how to slump – no introductory course but graduate field work.  Moreland is well on his way to a Ph.D. in slumpology. How bad?  In that time frame just .125 with zero home runs and three RBI. To be caustic – these guys are killing us!

Both Bogaerts and Moreland have a ready-made reason and it is not a good one, but a great one.  Bogaerts is playing with a damaged hand.  How bad?  No one really knows except Bogaerts and the Red Sox. And Moreland?  Moreland suffered a broken toe and that – despite Moreland’s denials – coincides with his batting tumble.

Baseball is not like football, hockey or even basketball.  The smallest of injuries can alter your ability to pitch or hit a ball considerably.  Baseball history is littered with players who whose career became affected by injury. The great Dizzy Dean broke a toe in the 1937 All-Star Game and returned to action far too soon. Dean altered his delivery and goodbye fastball followed by goodbye career.

Bogaerts and Moreland certainly have proven they have the cojones, but both need to sit and sit ASAP. This is no J.D. Drew – aptly known as “Day-to-day Drew,” but two players whose grit is certainly appreciated, but now can take a breather. The Red Sox have recently made some strategic moves to provide both depth and possibly an infusion of youthful exuberance.  Send both to the disabled list for some R & R and turn it over to the new.

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Rafael Devers was brought to Boston to play third base.  Let Devers play third base. If the management is wearing out their worry beads about Devers hitting lefties may I introduce one Deven Marrero. Marrero – a noted glove perfectionist – hit lefties at a .304 clip.  Problem solved.

Eduardo Nunez is a .300 hitter and capable of playing just about anywhere on the diamond.  A possible capable replacement for Bogaerts. Nunez is no Gold Glove performer, but neither is XB.  Nunez can handle the bat – meaning great contact skills – and can motor around the base.

So what about Moreland? Sam Travis was getting into games on a semi regular basis and may just represent the Red Sox future at first base.  Find out.  Give a call to Kevin Boles and have Travis released to enjoy the merits of an I-95 excursion north. Travis did hit .279 and certainly did not embarrass himself at first base.

Next: Red Sox need a lot more out of their current group

At this moment in time, both remain on the roster, but there is something so obvious with Moreland and Bogaerts that a magnifying glass is not needed. They need to sit and get healthy for the last 40+ games.