Red Sox

Lindor winning ALDS shortstop battle vs. Bogaerts despite similar stats

Lindor winning ALDS shortstop battle vs. Bogaerts despite similar stats

Xander Bogaerts and Francisco Lindor are part of the youthful surge at shortstop, coming off their first All-Star campaigns.

But so far this series their numbers have shown otherwise, both going 1-for-8 with four strikeouts to start the series. Bogaerts’ hit was an infield single he hustled out, while Lindor was the final home run in the third-inning’s mini home run derby Thursday.

There’s a lot more to how these two have played this series than the numbers show -- sorry stat geeks.

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First, their swings at the plate have been immensely different.

Lindor tries to drive the ball every time he swings that bat. Bogaerts looks like he’s complacent with putting the ball in play. For those who want to jump to the conclusion that Lindor is more of a power hitter that Bogaerts, he had a higher average (.301) than Bogaerts (.294) and hit less home runs (15 to 21, respectively) in the regular season.

When they fail at the plate, they look different, too. That only matters because that’s a reflection of where they are mentally.

Lindor smiles for a moment with dissatisfaction and moves on. Bogaerts’ head drops and he looks confused and defeated.

Now Terry Francona did make the fair point, “It’s more fun when you win.”

No question.

But this is a clear carryover from Bogaerts’ decline in the regular season when he finished batting .241 (27-for-112) in September. Bogaerts is still an amazing talent, but it’s concerning to see how he’s handled the adversity he’s dealt with late this season.

Bogaerts is one of the smartest players in the Red Sox clubhouse; no one recounts at-bats or specific scenarios like he does. It’d be a shame if this -- his intelligence and decision-making process paralyzing his MVP-caliber skills -- becomes a recurring trend.

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

David Price's Grapefruit League debut was nearly perfect.

The Red Sox left-hander pitched four scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out five in a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Fort Myers, Fla.

Price threw 55 pitches, 34 for strikes. He cruised through the first on nine pitches. He allowed the single and walk in the second.  

"It feels good. This is March 15 and I've never been able to have a four-pitch mix on March 15," Price told reporters after his start. "I've never been this far along in spring training even though I've only thrown in one game. I'm excited about that."

The Red Sox open March 29 at Tampa Bay, with Chris Sale likely to start. Price will likely pitch the second game of the season, March 30 at Tropicana Field.