Boston Red Sox: The Time Is Now to Promote Xander Bogaerts
The Boston Red Sox are in first place in August, something that very few people thought was possible when this season began. A team that was predicted to do potentially worse than their awful 2012 campaign is now sitting atop the American League.
Despite this, after a deadline trade for Jake Peavy, the Red Sox have a gaping hole in their infield at third base.
Jose Iglesias is gone, and while his fielding ability is Gold Glove caliber, his bat wasn't exactly incredible. Sure, he was able to start off hot, actually batting over .400 for a while, but in July and August the natural shortstop is batting under .200, which is closer to his career minor league average.
The hitting of Iglesias could be overlooked by his sensational glove, but the same can't be said about his replacements in Brandon Snyder and Brock Holt. Snyder and Holt are backup baseball players in the MLB at this point and should not be starting for a first-place team.
Looking at John Lackey's start against the Houston Astros a few days ago, Lackey pitched pretty well, only allowing two runs in six innings. The Sox were unable to score any runs, and starting third baseman Snyder went 0-for-3 while leaving a man on second in one inning and a man on third in another.
Fast forward to the next game where the Red Sox defeated the Astros 15-10. Talk about a high-scoring affair. Everyone must have had a hand in this win, right? Holt went 0-for-5.
The fact of the matter is that these two players aren't everyday third basemen, and a first-place team like the Red Sox cannot afford to have them starting games and not producing at this critical time in August. The solution to all this is simple.
Bogaerts, a potential future superstar in the making, has had a fantastic year in the minors after tearing it up in Double-A Portland before being called up to Triple-A Pawtucket as one of the youngest players in the team's history. Bogaerts is 20 years old.
He is batting .302 in his last 10 games for the PawSox and has eight home runs in 49 games since being called up.
People say that he is too young to be a part of this team, but I truly believe that Bogaerts could be a huge impact for this team right now, and I almost guarantee that he produces at a higher and more clutch level than the likes of Snyder and Holt.
There is the possibility that Will Middlebrooks could get called back to the Red Sox ahead of Bogaerts, but Middlebrooks is quite simply being outplayed by Bogaerts in Triple-A ball.
The Red Sox finish up with the Astros today and are then headed to Kansas City for a four-game series starting Thursday. This is the time for the debut of Bogaerts.
Kansas City isn't the pushover team that they used to be, but they still aren't in the top tier of the majors, and considering how this is an away game as well, this could be a great place for Bogaerts to ease into his first few major league games.
If the Red Sox were set at third base right now, if Middlebrooks had had a good year and never was sent down to the minors, if they had acquired someone at the deadline, I would say leave Bogaerts in Triple-A until September.
But none of those things have happened for Boston, and there is a huge hole at third base that the likes of Holt and Snyder are temporarily filling.
Bogaerts needs to be called up today. It's the right move, and if we don't see this budding superstar by the end of the week in Kansas City, you can be almost certain that he will get the call for the Toronto Blue Jays series next week.
The future is now and needed if the Red Sox want to see the World Series in 2013.
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