What Rafael Devers Needs to Break out of His Recent Slump
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It’s safe to say that Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers has had a successful season.
The Red Sox, despite doubts surrounding Devers, passed up an opportunity to trade for what could’ve been a third-base upgrade. Soon after, Dominican Republic native made a name for himself in Boston and has become an asset for the Sox in his short time on the team.
At just 20 years old, the rookie nicknamed Carita (“babyface” in Spanish) has surpassed most fans expectations with his performances this season. As of late, however, Devers has not been executing to his full potential. Devers made errors in five consecutive games leading into Wednesday night’s match up, leading the Sox to extract him from the starting lineup.
All players go through slumps at different points in their careers, but this particular one is especially concerning as the Sox head into the playoffs.
Red Sox manager John Farrell believes that this latest digression is “more the aberration than the norm,” and that adequate rest will put Devers back on the right path.
“This is the first [big league] experience for him, and certainly the speed and all that goes into not only just playing at the Major League level for the first time, but you’re in a pennant race,” said Farrell. “There have been many extended games where you’re into many hours on the field. All these are a first for him. And while he may not recognize how much it taxes the body, it’s ongoing.”
Farrell has also noted that Devers will be the third baseman in the postseason, but with the possibility of utilizing a defensive replacement to clutch the later innings.
In response to the slump, Devers seemed confident that his defensive abilities will improve going forward.
“I try my best to play the best defense I can out there, and up until now, I think I’ve played pretty well,” Devers said through interpreter Daveson Perez. “The last five days have been tough. Those are things that happen in the game, but I don’t want to make errors. It’s not something I want to do while I’m up here. I try not to think about it too much or let it get to me and focus on the next play that comes.”