FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts at last feels like he is turning the corner in his return from left ankle soreness and said he could play in Grapefruit League games at some point this week.
With the Red Sox on the road playing the Tigers on Monday, Bogaerts stayed back and got in a good workout at the Fenway South complex.
"It went well," Bogaerts said. "Looking forward to playing in games, probably this week. I don't know which days, but I feel pretty close to 100 percent. [I'm not there] as yet, but pretty close. I'm much further than I was when I came here."
Bogaerts suffered the injury during an offseason workout, but it's not expected to impact his availability for Opening Day.
That said, this spring has felt strange for Bogaerts, who is a team leader on the Red Sox.
"It feels like I'm in the [World Baseball Classic] a little bit," said Bogaerts. "I'm away from the team. I haven't been able to do much playing games, just trying to get treatment. I think it's smart on us just trying to take it slow. I don't want to aggravate it again or have something nagging going into the season. I think it's been smart of us just taking it slow, getting everything right."
Bogaerts has done everything he can to stay in shape despite the delay.
"I think I'm pretty much the same weight-wise and in the gym," Bogaerts said. "It's just that now I've started doing baseball activities, so sometimes I get sore in other areas because I haven't been swinging, taking grounders, stuff like that. I think it's all coming along well and hopefully I play this week."
Weber makes strong case
The Red Sox have two spots wide open in the back of the rotation, and Ryan Weber is making a strong case to land one of them. The finesse righty fired three impressive innings in the Sox's 11-11 tie with the Tigers on Monday in Lakeland, Fla., holding Detroit to three hits and an unearned run while walking none and striking out six.
Weber threw two shutout innings in his Spring Training debut last week against the Orioles.
With ace Chris Sale slated to start the season on the injured list, interim manager Ron Roenicke is considering using an opener in at least one of the two open spots. But he would rather someone emerge as a starter. Weber is making a good early case.
Dalbec is known for his power, and he walloped a three-run homer to left-center on Monday.
It was the first homer of Spring Training for Dalbec, who is likely to open the season at Triple-A Pawtucket unless the Red Sox sustain an injury at first or third base.
The Red Sox will play the rival Yankees for the second and final time in Spring Training on Tuesday in Tampa. Lefty Martin Pérez, a free-agent acquisition in December, will make the start. Rafael Devers, Michael Chavis and Jose Peraza are expected to be in the lineup. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET, and fans can watch live on MLB.TV or listen on Gameday Audio.