Monday, June 29, 2015

Weekly Red Sox Hitter Notes: June 29th

David Ortiz has been inconsistent lately, but belted a pair of home runs last week.
By Adam Lowenstein (@StatsAdam)

After registering just one extra-base hit in their loss on Saturday, the Red Sox bounced back to slug three home runs as a part of a 5-3 win in the rubber game against the Tampa Bay Rays. With Boston's victory on Sunday, they have alternated wins and losses every game since June 19th. From Thursday to Sunday, the Red Sox batted their best three wins above replacement players as the top three in their lineup: Mookie Betts, Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts.

CF Mookie Betts, who has been the Red Sox’s best player in terms of wins above replacement this season, played his team-high 74th game of 2015 on Sunday. However, he did not register a hit for the second straight day. On Saturday, the Rays ended his career-best hitting streak at 13 games. During the streak, he had 24 hits, including three home runs and two triples, in 53 at-bats.

Utility Man Brock Holt struggled this past week, but he has had a strong June, which included 18 consecutive games in which he reached base. Including Sunday’s 0-for-4 game, he has not reached base safely in only three contests in the month.

SS Xander Bogaerts is much better at Fenway Park than on the road. Although the 22-year-old Aruba native has just one home run in his last 36 games, he went 2-for-4 on Sunday and scored twice in St. Petersburg.

DH David Ortiz alternated 0-fer games with hitting-safely contests from Tuesday to Sunday. Unfortunately, he was still one of the team’s better hitters over the last week. The 39-year-old lefty, who owns the third-most active home runs, slugged one on Tuesday and another on Sunday.

3B Pablo Sandoval has not drawn a walk since June 2. In addition, after being hit by a pitch for the fifth time this season on May 19, a pitcher has not hit him with a pitch since. Therefore, Kung Fu Panda has had to rely on his bat. The week that culminated with the Kansas City Royals series was a strong one for him, but last week was not so much. That is until Sunday when he homered for the seventh time this season.

1B Mike Napoli showed some life on Thursday and Friday, as he broke a 0-for-14 slump with seven strikeouts to go 3-for-5 with three walks and four runs in the two contests against American League foes. After another 0-fer performance on Saturday, Napoli was ejected from Sunday’s game for arguing balls and strikes.

LF/RF Alejandro De Aza has another four-game hitting streak cooking with his hot bat near the bottom of Red Sox’s batting order. In his first 47 plate appearances with Boston, he did not hit a home run. However, he homered on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

C Blake Swihart
returned from his sprained left foot to play on Thursday, and he continued to add to his streak of starts in which he has reached base. On Sunday, he made it 13 consecutive starts, and during that streak, he has an on-base plus slugging percentage approximately .100 better than the league average this season.

RF Jackie Bradley Jr., who was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday, was the starting rightfielder to go along with Betts and De Aza in the outfield, while Hanley Ramirez was out with a left hand contusion. He went 3-for-7 in his first two games back, but does not have a hit in his last seven plate appearances.

DL/2B Dustin Pedroia, who was placed on the disabled list on Thursday due to a right hamstring strain, will be able to come back in time to heat up for his normal August hot streak. From 2012 to 2014, his OPS was .681 in June, .680 in July and .829 in August.

BN/LF Hanley Ramirez finally had his offense going again before his hand injury: he had hits in five consecutive games, including two home runs. In addition, he had 15 errorless games from June 4 until he was sidelined.

For more sports coverage, follow Adam Lowenstein on Twitter at @StatsAdam. Statistics used from

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