Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is not in Saturday’s lineup against the Mariners, but he is feeling fine after being hit in the head by a Felix Hernandez pitch in the fifth inning of Friday night’s loss, per ESPN Boston’s Joe McDonald. Bogaerts initially stayed in the game, but admitted to losing focus in the field and he was pinch-hit for by Brock Holt in the bottom of the sixth.
Holt is playing shortstop in Bogaert’s stead, leading off. Bogaerts says he was given concussion tests and although he doesn’t know the results, he feels fine.
The 21-year-old rookie has had a tough season, slashing .223/.293/.333 with eight home runs and 30 RBI.
Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.
On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.
It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.
While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.