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June 4, 2014

Bogaerts move to third should leave Sox a little unfulfilled

BOSTON – Jonny Gomes’ walkup song title “The Boys Are Back” by Dropkick Murphys perfectly sums up this past week in Red Sox baseball.

With seven straight victories, including yesterday’s 4-0 win over Tampa Bay here at Fenway Park, the boys of summer are back.

Now, someone should compose a Red Sox theme song for this week titled “Stephen Drew is back.”

Like it or not, Drew is expected to start at shortstop today when the Boston Red Sox play a 7:05 p.m. game on the road against Terry Francona’s Cleveland Indians today.

With Drew back, 21-year-old rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts will shift to third base and Brock Holt, the hottest hitter in baseball (his four doubles yesterday tied a single-game major league record) will accept a utility role.

So how do you feel about Drew returning when everything is awesome in Red Sox Nation right now?

How do you think third base coach/infield instructor Brian Butterfield feels after he spent countless hours since the start of spring training hitting grounders to Bogaerts and helping the rookie improve defensively? All that hard work goes to waste now, right?

Wrong.

Butterfield feels satisfied at this point. He described Bogaerts’ defensive improvement over just the past few weeks as “a huge leap.” He knows Bogaerts showed his potential for next year.

“We knew going in there were going to be some bumps in the road as there is with any young player,” Butterfield said. “This has been a big three weeks for him. You can see the look on his face. He’s a more confident player offensively and defensively.”

The Red Sox organization as a whole though shouldn’t feel a complete sense of satisfaction right now.

Sure, Drew is a superior defensive shortstop. But Bogaerts finally has been showing signs he can handle the position. Now his progress and the Red Sox’ evaluation of him as a shortstop will be placed on hold until spring 2015.

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