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.

Report: Astros, Ryan Pressly close to agreement on two-year, $17.5 million extension

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Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros and reliever Ryan Pressly are close to finalizing a two-year, $17.5 million contract extension, which will also include a third-year vesting club option. Rome notes that the extension is believed to be the largest, in terms of both total money and average annual value, for a reliever who is not a closer.

Pressly, 30, agreed to a $2.9 million salary for the 2019 season back in January, avoiding arbitration in his final year of eligibility. The Astros acquired Pressly from the Twins near the end of July in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers. Pressly posted a 3.40 ERA in 47 2/3 innings with the Twins and a 0.77 ERA in 23 1/3 innings with the Astros. In the playoffs, Pressly allowed just one run on one hit and three walks with seven strikeouts across five innings of work.

Along with Héctor Rondón, Pressly will once again help bridge the gap to closer Roberto Osuna.