Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe hears from two Red Sox team sources that Xander Bogaerts is still viewed as the club’s shortstop. With Pablo Sandoval in the mix, this likely means that Hanley Ramirez is headed to left field. That means that Yoenis Cespedes is all but out of Boston; the only variable pertains to which team he is eventually traded.
Of course, the Red Sox could still explore trading Bogaerts. They have talked to the Phillies about a trade for starter Cole Hamels, and Bogaerts would certainly be a great starting point.
Bogaerts, 22, was the consensus #2 overall prospect according to Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus entering the 2014 season. He struggled in his first full season, however, batting .240/.297/.362 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI in 594 plate appearances. Many believe Bogaerts has a better future as a third baseman as opposed to a shortstop.
The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.
In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.
Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.