Red Sox News: Xander Bogaerts making progress with shoulder injury

Xander Bogaerts, the short stop for the Boston Red Sox fields ground balls at Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers oin Monday, February 22, 2021. Spring Training for major league baseball is underway.Bogartz
Xander Bogaerts, the short stop for the Boston Red Sox fields ground balls at Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers oin Monday, February 22, 2021. Spring Training for major league baseball is underway.Bogartz /

Xander Bogaerts is targeting a return to the Red Sox “soon”

Red Sox Nation got a bit of good news yesterday in the way of Xander Bogaerts letting everyone know that he’s on the mend and making progress. The Aruban superstar was shut down last week due to soreness in his shoulder and while there still isn’t a timetable for his return, he jokingly told MLB Network, “Soon.” Per Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald,  Boston CBO Chaim Bloom said an MRI showed nothing of concern and rest is the prescription.

"“Nothing concerning, no,” Bloom said. “All what you would expect. He should be ready (for Opening Day). Obviously we won’t skip steps with him … it is a marathon not a sprint … but we should have the time we need.”"

Bogey’s beat-up shoulder was attributed to his offseason regimen and the unfortunate hurdles he had to jump through due to Aruba’s COVID restrictions. Red Sox skipper Alex Cora spoke about the matter and let everyone know that while he was able to get his reps in at the batting cage he wasn’t able to work on his arm strength. Xander then ramped up his workout routine to get ready for the season and ran his shoulder out of gas.

Much like with the injury reported earlier today to Bryan Mata, rest and patience will be the best medicine for Bogaerts. Cora and Red Sox CBO Chaim Bloom both stated that they won’t rush things and there’s plenty of time on the calendar to get him back in the lineup. If the Red Sox want to have any sort of hope at competing for meaningful baseball this fall they’ll need Xander at full strength.

"“So he rushed himself,” Cora said. “He was sore for a few days. We shut him down. He should be back to throwing in the next couple of days. He will take groundballs and all that. The hitting part, he’ll be OK in a few days, too. We’ve just got to be patient. We’ve got plenty of days. We’ve got, what, 30 more days? So as of now, we do feel he should be ready for Opening Day.”"

Bogey made his debut for Boston in 2013 and quickly became an asset to John Farrell on the way to winning the World Series that year. Since then he’s been the foundation of this roster and despite the severe turnover we’ve seen recently, he’s been the constant. Xander is more than just a shortstop though as he’s grown to become a mentor to the younger players on the team, specifically Rafael Devers.

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Mastrodonato would go on to mention that Xander has only missed 11 games over the course of the last two seasons which is absolutely mind-boggling. He also spoke to the fact that Bogey has only been on the IL once since his promotion in 2013 and that came in the way of a fractured ankle during the 2018 season. I once argued that Dustin Pedroia should be the next captain in the legacy of the Red Sox, but now that that page has turned, Xander is the best option for the role.

Both Cora and Bloom are right in the fact that there is plenty of time before Opening Day so rushing Xander back would be foolish. While on MLB Network last night, he spoke about the injury and said that the training staff is taking their time with him and they’ll add more drills as each day goes by pending his soreness levels. A slow and steady approach is the best path to getting Bogey back to full strength in time for Opening Day, and they mustn’t rush the plan.

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Despite the turnover and change that this organization has undergone over the last few years, it’s been Bogaerts that has kept the ship afloat. He’s worked each and every season to become one of the best shortstops in the game today and a leader for this Red Sox club. As the team embarks on a redemption tour he’ll undoubtedly be at the front of the line leading the charge. For now, the most important thing is to get him healthy and back on the field without any hiccups along the way.