Bogaerts was born six days earlier than Betts, who lovingly used to call the Red Sox shortstop his big brother.
Together, they became core players for a squad that won the American League East for three straight seasons, culminating in the team’s epic 2018 World Series championship.
But now, the duo will be separated by 3,000 miles, with Betts’ trade to the Dodgers a week ago. Bogaerts acknowledged that is going to take some getting used to.
“It’s going to be hard,” Bogaerts said. “Obviously, it came ... so close to Spring Training, so a lot of us didn’t know what was going to happen -- if it was going to happen or not.”
It still seems surreal to Bogaerts that Betts didn’t have a locker in the clubhouse.
“I mean, I remember when he came up and made his debut in Yankee Stadium. It’s crazy to think how time flew that quick,” Bogaerts said. “Obviously, I wish him nothing but the best. He’s one of the best teammates I’ve had. [Betts is] one of the best young players we had to wear this Red Sox uniform. He’s someone that we’re going to miss a lot and it’s not easy to replace someone like that, on and off the field.”
Bogaerts is in it with the Red Sox for the long haul, having signed a six-year, $120 million contract nearly a year ago that will kick in at the start of this season.
As much as it pains Bogaerts to move on without Betts, Bogaerts is determined to be part of a contending team in 2020. And he welcomes the underdog role.
“If you ask me, I think no one would pretty much bet on us to win it, obviously with the two [guys, including David Price] we traded there at the end,” Bogaerts said. “But I think our team is pretty much the same and, like I said, we have so many opportunities now for these young guys to come up and show what they have. We have a lot of veterans still on the team. I’m definitely confident in the team that we have, so it’s just up to us now to go out there and perform.”
Bogaerts slowed by left ankleBogaerts will have a slow start to camp due to a left ankle injury he sustained during a workout a couple of weeks ago.
“It’s getting better,” Bogaerts said. “[I] was doing some workouts back at home and it got a little sore so I’m taking it a little slowly now. As I said, [it’s] Spring Training, I don’t think there’s any reason for us to force it. I’ll get going as soon as possible. Just trying to make sure to get it right and [that] when I start, I can finish.”
There seems to be little doubt that Bogaerts will be at shortstop when the Red Sox open their season on March 26.
“I’ve got to take it slow, take my time,” Bogaerts said. “I’ve got to be smart about it and hopefully have a long, healthy season. So don’t let this little thing affect my whole season.”
Roenicke prepares to address teamPrior to Monday’s first full-squad workout, interim Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke will give his first speech to the entire team.
“I think it’s important to talk to the team on the first day to kind of set the tone of what you’d expect and what can get us to the point of where we need to be,” said Roenicke.
Chavis likely to expand horizonsMichael Chavis can already play first, second and third. Don’t be surprised if he soon adds outfield to his portfolio. If Chavis hits like the Red Sox expect him to, they will want him in the lineup as much as possible.
Roenicke said that Boston general manager Brian O’Halloran and assistant general manager Eddie Romero gave him a list of players who will expand their versatility this spring.
“I won’t even address it for the first week or so but after that, yeah, Chavis and some of those guys, we’ll address where we think we need to give them at least a little bit of work,” Roenicke said.