Ceddanne Rafaela making case for Gold Glove after another Red Sox web gem

Boston Red Sox v Oakland Athletics
Boston Red Sox v Oakland Athletics / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Brent Rooker stood in the batter's box and stared down Nick Pivetta. With two outs and a runner on second base, Rooker had to hit it deep to score a run.

He did. Rooker drilled a towering fly ball to center field — Ceddanne Rafaela's domain.

The rookie took off running, looking back toward the ball all the while. As the ball began to fall, Rafaela reached the warning track, raised his glove and leaped into the wall. He closed his glove around the ball as he stumbled forward from the recoil. He saved Pivetta's scoreless outing, good for his second of the season.

Opening Day was less than a week ago and Rafaela is already building his case for a Gold Glove. He's made multiple run and game-saving catches and just his presence alone in center field should give the Red Sox more confidence in their defensive capabilities. And at 23-years-old, he has so much time to get even better.

Rafaela's heroics helped Pivetta out of a rough situation. The pitcher was able to continue his streak of hot starts — Pivetta has a 0.34 ERA in his last four. The A's were pushing the righty around, though, as they collected five hits against him, two more than the Mariners got in his debut.

Rafaela's defensive dominance has saved yet another pitcher's outing, and he did it less than 24 hours after he saved a game for Boston.

His presence at the plate has not rivaled his spring training production, but if he can reverse his offensive stall, Rafaela may be in the running for more than just a Gold Glove. His defense must be in the top tier of the 2024 rookie class and it would be great for the Sox for him to find his way into AL Rookie of the Year contention.

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