BOSTON -- Two days after getting belted on the right hand by a 99.1-mph fastball, Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts was still too sore to start Thursday's game against the Yankees.What about Friday?"If it feels good tomorrow and I'm ready to go, then I'll go," said Bogaerts. "If it's kind
BOSTON -- Two days after getting belted on the right hand by a 99.1-mph fastball, Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts was still too sore to start Thursday's game against the Yankees.
What about Friday?
"If it feels good tomorrow and I'm ready to go, then I'll go," said Bogaerts. "If it's kind of like today, probably not. I tried to hit today, but it wasn't good enough."
Bogaerts might have come back too soon from the same injury last year, and the Red Sox will try to make sure that doesn't happen again.
Without Bogaerts, the Red Sox still thrashed the Yankees, 15-7, on Thursday to take a 6 1/2-game lead in the American League East.
"I just want to make sure that it's right once I get back," Bogaerts said. "I know that it's a big series. Obviously, we had a good game today -- a lot of offense, good pitching. It was fun to see it. Obviously, I want to be out there, but I think I should be back whenever it's right to help out the team again."
Red Sox manager Alex Cora vowed not to rush his shortstop back into action.
"I'll take my time," said Cora. "Whenever he's ready, he'll come back. I'm not going to rush him to get back in the lineup."
There was initial concern that the injury was more serious, but Cora was confident there was no break in the hand before X-rays confirmed as much.
"I just sprinted out there," said Cora. "He was squeezing his hand when he was down. I thought for sure that there was nothing major to be honest with you. Whenever you get hit by 99, especially in the hands, it's very dangerous. He'll be OK, I think.
"It's good to have two days off, too, to help him out, not only for his hand, but I think his body. He's been playing a lot. We'll take it. I look at it as a positive. ... He doesn't play today, he comes back tomorrow and he resets."
With Rafael Devers on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, the Red Sox had Eduardo Nunez at third base and Brock Holt at shortstop for the opener against the Yanks.
Devers is eligible to return on Wednesday, when the Red Sox will be playing the second game of a three-game series in Toronto.
"He was here yesterday [on the off-day]," said Cora. "I think he's taking ground balls today. He feels better. You talk to him and you can tell he's at ease with everything going on, so hopefully he will be with us sooner rather than later."
Progress for E-Rod
The Red Sox are encouraged enough by the progress of Eduardo Rodriguez -- who suffered a severe right ankle sprain on July 14 -- that the lefty has been cleared to throw a bullpen session at Fenway Park on Sunday.
"We're not getting ahead of ourselves. We're going through every step," said Cora. "But he looks great. From what I saw that day to now -- I told him the only thing he needs now is a pedicure, that's it. The way he looks, that's all he needs now."
Sale targeting Wednesday return
The target the Red Sox are setting for ace Chris Sale's return form the disabled list is Wednesday night in Toronto. If Sale can come back that soon from the mild inflammation in his left shoulder, he will have missed just one start.
To gauge where he is at, Sale will resume throwing in the next day or two.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.