With the season entering the final home stretch, the Red Sox really need to have their best month of the season to assure that they make the postseason. With all eyes set on the division, the playoffs still aren't a lock with teams like Detroit, Baltimore, Houston, and even the Yankees and Royals are knocking on the door of postseason play.
But they can kiss their World Series hopes goodbye if All-Star shortstop, Xander Bogaerts, doesn't clean it up. Ever since the second half started, X has hit .256 with only 7 homers and 23 RBI in 46 games. Not too mention a .238 average over the last 25 days.
But what's wrong with him?
A lot of different possibilities have entered my head over the past couple weeks about what is wrong with Bogey; especially over the past week or so. I've completely thrown fatigue out of the window for one reason and one reason only; he was outstanding down the stretch last year. So playing everyday at a high level is something that Bogaerts is more than capable of.
My theory has 2 different possibilities.
1. He's battling some sort of injury.
We've all seen the level that the X-Man can play at when he's 100%; he's an All-Star and one of the most feared contact men in the league. But as of late, Xander has really looked slow with his swing and just is all over the place. So it makes you wonder if it hurts him to swing 100% or run 100%.
2. He's mentally incapable of playing right now.
Like I said before, Xander was fine last year playing with the inspired, young Sox team of August and September. His late surge put him in the discussion for the batting title before finishing in 2nd to Miguel Cabrera. However, Bogey is falling apart at the seams this year in August and September for some unknown reason. Unlike last year, the 2016 Red Sox are playing for October baseball for the first time since 2013. So this leads me to believe that Bogaerts just cannot handle playing games of high intensity, which is a recipe for the recent struggles.
Now if I'm John Farrell, I'm doing what Clint Hurdle did with Andrew McCutchen. Cutch was really struggling and the Pirates were the victims of it in the loss column. So Clint Hurdle gave Cutch a series off to get his mind right. Over the past 25 games, McCutchen is hitting .297 and trying to lead a late Bucco surge for the NL Wildcard.
Sometimes you have to light a fire under a guy's butt to get him to play better. And that someone could be Xander Bogaerts. With Holt's versatility allowing him to be able to play short, the Sox lineup remains deep and doesn't look like a JV team. Plus Xander could still come in to pinch hit or as a defensive replacement late to keep him fresh. Point is, his mind isn't right.
He needs a wake up call, soon.