The Red Sox are on a west coast swing this coming weekend to take on the San Diego Padres. This will be the first time Xander Bogaerts will play against Boston in his big-league career. Sox fans are definitely excited (or sad) to watch Xander play again, but he isn’t the only former Red Sock that fans can watch this weekend. Starting pitcher Michael Wacha, who spent time in Boston last season, is scheduled to start Sunday’s matchup against Corey Kluber. It’s always entertaining when a player takes on his former team, especially with a player with the talent of Xander Bogaerts.
Xander left Boston for San Diego in free agency this past offseason, signing an 11-year, $280 million contract. Sox fans were sad to see him go after watching the star shortstop for ten seasons, but the size of the deal may have lessened the blow for some. Eleven years and that amount of money is a lot to give any 30-year-old athlete. Still, after winning two World Series and making four All-Star appearances, Xander has a special place in the hearts of Red Sox fans everywhere.
Most fans wish him the best, but it will be difficult not to be a little bitter seeing him in a Padres uniform this weekend. In 43 games this season, Xander has batted .275, clubbing six homeruns already and has scored 25 runs. The power numbers are up a bit which is surprising since Petco Park in San Diego typically has been a pitcher’s ballpark, but the offensive numbers haven’t been too special to this point. Pretty average for Bogaerts career but when you add him to a lineup with Juan Soto, Manny Machado, and Fernando Tatis Jr., he’s more than pulling his weight to this point.
Michael Wacha seems to have picked up where he left off from last season. He had an 11-2 record, with a 3.32 ERA, and WHIP of 1.11, which was the lowest since his rookie season. His 4-1 record this year is the best on the team, even better than star pitchers like Yu Darvish and Blake Snell. Although his ERA is a few ticks over four, it was inflated by a bad first few starts. Since then, he has been vintage Wacha that was once mentioned as an All-Star, and if he can stay healthy is going to be a great pick up for a Padres team that has struggled to get consistent pitching.
San Diego nabbed some great players for Boston this offseason, and so far, it has shown. Boston fans should definitely make it a point to try and catch at least some of the games to see Bogaerts and Wacha play against the Sox this weekend. Fans certainly wish them the best, just not this coming weekend. Also, if you can get the Padres feed you could hear Don Orsillo call the games as well. Now wouldn’t that be a treat?