Bogaerts' 1,000th game; injury updates

May 6th, 2021

BOSTON -- As another reminder of his constant presence on the Red Sox in what is now his ninth season with the club, shortstop played in his 1,000th career game on Thursday against the Tigers.

In typical Bogaerts fashion, he was all over the place, going 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI while making all the plays at shortstop in a wild 12-9 win.

At 28 years and 217 days, Bogaerts became the 10th player to appear in 1,000 games for the Sox before turning 29 years old, joining a distinguished group that also includes Bobby Doerr, Dwight Evans, Harry Hooper, Rico Petrocelli, Jim Rice, Everett Scott, Reggie Smith, Tris Speaker and Carl Yastrzemski.

"It definitely means a lot," said Bogaerts. "I know for sure I came a long way since the day I signed and growing up as a kid just trying to learn to play the game and be successful and get to the big leagues. Now I have quite some [service] time and quite an amount of games, which is pretty impressive for a little kid who was just trying to get to the big leagues from Aruba.

"I'm extremely proud of myself and I'm thankful everyone who helped me, especially my family for always being there to support me throughout the good and the bad, because I had my bad times for sure. I definitely had a bumpy road at the beginning, but I'm happy where I'm at right now."

Bogaerts is the 30th player in team history to play 1,000 games.

"I do believe he's the most consistent person in this organization," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "I mean, off the field, on the field, physically, what he does in the offseason, the way he takes care of himself during the season. The way he goes about his business. Everything is about winning for him."

Bogaerts was initially called up to the Red Sox on Aug. 19, 2013 -- in the middle of a pennant race. He was part of a veteran-laden team but still got the opportunity to prove himself once he moved into the starting lineup midway through the postseason.

"I know when he came here in 2013, he got a taste, he got a ring, but that was a special group. A group of grinders," said Cora. "[Mike] Napoli, [Stephen] Drew, [Jonny] Gomes, David [Ortiz], [Dustin] Pedroia, just a bunch of grinders. [Shane] Victorino. And then [Bogaerts] learned right away what it's all about to play in this market, in this stadium, in this city for this franchise. And he doesn't take a day for granted."

Nor does Cora take for granted that he has Bogaerts as his shortstop. In fact, the manager isn't afraid to expand the boundaries of their relationship beyond the ballpark. Cora puts his young twin sons on the phone with Bogaerts when the occasion calls for it.

"Yesterday, the boys didn't want to have breakfast. They love Xander Bogaerts. They know the number. Obviously, one of the kids, his first name is Xander," said Cora. "So I called Xander and said, 'Tell them what they have to do.' He said, 'Hey, you guys have to eat.' They crushed breakfast. It was amazing."

And as usual, Bogaerts is crushing the baseball this season.

Bogaerts leads the Majors with 42 hits and is fifth with a .356 average. When the day started, he was tied for the American League lead in doubles and has belted six homers in the past 15 games. Bogaerts started the day leading MLB shortstops in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, doubles, hits and extra-base hits.

"He's a special dude, special player, special guy," said Red Sox catcher Kevin Plawecki. "Just the way he goes about his business, obviously the results on the field speaks for itself, but the work he puts in that nobody sees, the kind of teammate he is in the clubhouse and the dugout, on the road, whatever the case may be, he's just a really good dude and I know a lot of guys around here look up to him and go to him for certain things."

Bumps and bruises update
Kiké Hernandez started Thursday by lacing a leadoff double in the bottom of the first. But on the slide into second, he tweaked his right hamstring and was removed from the game with what the team's medical staff referred to as tightness.

Cora was unsure of Hernández's availability leading into the weekend series against Baltimore. It's possible the Red Sox could have to add a position player to the roster such as Michael Chavis, who wasn't in the lineup for Triple-A Worcester on Thursday.

"He thought it was probably a cramp in the beginning, but then he felt it was more than a cramp," said Cora. "I don't know how serious it is. I haven't had too much time to talk to [trainer] Brad [Pearson], but we'll talk about it and obviously we'll stay away from him tomorrow. We'll have more later on or tomorrow."

Alex Verdugo moved from left to center to replace Hernández. Franchy Cordero came off the bench to play left field and subbed in for Hernández in the leadoff spot and had a big day, belting three hits and scoring three times.

Still, the timing of Hernández's injury is far from ideal. Christian Arroyo was out of the lineup a day after he was belted on the left wrist by a pitch. It was the second time this season Arroyo has taken a shot to that same wrist. The last time it happened was April 25, and Arroyo had three days of rest before playing again.

X-rays taken on Wednesday night came back negative.

The good news is that Arroyo was healthy enough to pinch-run late in Thursday's game. He scored a run and then made a tremendous stop on defense in the top of the ninth.

Cora made special note of Arroyo's contribution after the game.

"I can tell you from experience, that's kind of hard, because when you become a defensive replacement, you have to make the play," Cora said. "People expect you to make the play. It's not that easy and you make that sliding catch and got the lead runner. If you look at the numbers, he's actually one of the best defensive second basemen right now in the big leagues. We're just happy that we have him. I was more than happy that he was willing to go out there a little bit banged up and help us."

Workman returns on Minors deal
As the Red Sox departed for Baltimore, the club announced it had re-signed former closer Brandon Workman to a Minor League deal and assigned him to Triple-A Worcester.

Workman spent six seasons with the Red Sox, going 24-16 with a 3.75 ERA and 20 saves. At last year's Trade Deadline, he was dealt to the Phillies along with Heath Hembree for Connor Seabold and Nick Pivetta.

The right-hander signed a free-agent deal with the Cubs on Feb. 18, but after going 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in 10 games, he was released last Friday.

Laundry cart guy
Speaking of Plawecki, he jokingly referred to himself as the "laundry cart guy" in a Zoom session with reporters on Thursday.

The ritual the Red Sox started late last season of giving a player a ride in a laundry cart in the dugout started with Plawecki and former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek brainstorming on a way for the team to have some fun. Everyone is having fun with it.

"Every interview I do now, it's all we talk about. The laundry cart guy," said Plawecki. "Haaha. It's just something fun. It keeps the guys loose. Just something that obviously has taken off and here we are. Added responsibility for me every day."

So how did it start, exactly?

"It started last year when Varitek was trying to get me to think of something fun for the guys to do after home runs and I couldn't really think of anything. And last year -- obviously being as tough of a year as it was for all of us in general – [I] tried to find a way to spruce things up," Plawecki said. "I found this laundry cart in Tampa, [Fla.], and I think [Christian] Vázquez was up to bat at the time. 'Tek was like, 'Push him down the tunnel in this laundry cart,' and here we are today, still doing it."

For the current homestand, the Red Sox were greeted with a custom laundry cart.

"Then we had somebody reach out to us, wanted to make us our own custom cart. They reached out to Tommy [McLaughlin], our clubhouse manager, and we put something together and here we are," said Plawecki, who had a strong game with two hits and a key walk in the bottom of the eighth.