After not playing for a week, Xander Bogaerts is back with the Boston Red Sox. On Saturday he was activated from the seven-day disabled list after being placed on it on August 25th retroactive to the 23rd, the last day he played. In response, Boston optioned starter Anthony Ranaudo down to low-A Greenville opting to keep utility man Carlos Rivero on the roster.
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Ranaudo, 24, pitched for Boston on Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays. He tossed six quality innings—allowing three runs on five hits while fanning four—improving his Major League record to 3-0 on the year in three starts. The move is only temporary as Ranaudo will not miss a start nor will he pitch for the Drive. He will be called back up once rosters expand on September 1st.
Bogaerts is particularly struggling lately since pitchers are now throwing him more breaking balls. The month of August had been rough on him as he had collected just seven hits in 66 at-bats good for a .106 batting average.
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The past few months in general have not been overly friendly to Bogaerts either. He is hitting just .158 in his last 241 at-bats. Before then, Bogaerts was in serious Rookie of the Year consideration slashing .304/.397/.438 through his first 53 games of the season. Now, his slash line has been reduced to .223/.293/.333, a far cry from where he once was.
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Now, Bogaerts has a chance to wipe away the past few months of dismal results. He is well-rested and is fighting for his job next season. The 21-year-old has a bright future ahead, but it starts right now. Xander Bogaerts will certainly be a franchise player, but the question at hand is whether or not he can do so immediately. At first the answer appeared to be yes, but his inability to hit the curve says otherwise. He has a great opportunity to boost his numbers over the next month, and needs to do so in order to be a lock for a starting job next year.