Xander Bogaerts is not a failure

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Last Friday, Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy wrote that the truth is the Red Sox may not be very good. Starting Monday they won four in a row, so take that all for what it’s worth.

But he also had individual criticism for the Red Sox’ infield. Particularly the left side, which he characterized as “the Bogaerts-Middlebrooks left-side failure.”

Since then, Bogaerts has gone 11 for 30 (.367) with three doubles, three walks, three RBI and six runs scored. On the year he is now hitting .296/.388/.425. He also is 21-years-old. One far more respected Boston columnist weighed in on all of this:

Decide for yourself if Shaughnessy doesn’t actually understand how good Bogaerts is or if, alternatively, he’s merely playing the age-old game of stirring the pot and looking to make scapegoats. Whichever you decide, though, it doesn’t change the fact that he is about as wrong as can be about one of the most exciting and promising players in all of baseball.

Phillies pause Jerad Eickhoff’s rehab

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Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season as he suffered a lat injury in mid-March and has been on the disabled list since. He started a rehab stint in the minors last week, making a start for Double-A Reading on May 15 and another start for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.

Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports that Eickhoff went a twinge in the fingertips of his right index and middle fingers late in Sunday’s outing after throwing a curve and on the subsequent pitch. The Phillies have paused Eickhoff’s rehab as a result and will evaluate him further.

Eickhoff went on the disabled list in late August last year due to nerve irritation in his right hand, so this latest setback could be related to that.

Eickhoff showed promise early in his career, posting a combined 3.44 ERA in 41 starts between 2015-16. He struggled to a 4.71 ERA last year before ending his season early with the nerve issue. Eickhoff was one of the many prospects the Phillies got from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade.