The defense of Rafael Devers has become a real problem as the errors keep piling up. What can the Boston Red Sox do about it?
Rafael Devers remains an important fixture in the future of the Boston Red Sox but something has to be done about his defense at third base.
Devers committed his ninth error of the season in Thursday night’s loss to the Chicago White Sox, giving him the second-most in the majors and nearly doubling anyone else at his position. He’s never been steady at the hot corner but he’s on pace to shatter the career-high 24 errors that he made last year.
It wouldn’t be fair to pin this loss on Devers despite that his mistake put the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth inning with Boston clinging to a one-run lead. Ryan Brasier still gave up a base hit to the next batter before Nicky Delmonico ended the game with a walk-off homer. That three-run blast would have been the game-winner even if Devers had successfully retired the second batter of the inning.
Would Brasier have coughed up the home run if he weren’t rattled by a two-on, one-out situation? His job would certainly be easier with two outs and only one base runner to worry about but it’s still on the pitcher to hit his spots. If Brasier doesn’t hang a slider over the middle of the plate to Delmonico then the error by Devers falls into no harm, no foul territory.
That doesn’t mean that these defensive miscues aren’t harming the Red Sox.