Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday evening, becoming the latest victim of the team’s ongoing virus outbreak.
Xander Bogaerts tested positive for COVID.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) September 1, 2021
Bogaerts was informed of his positive test result during the second inning of Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. After the shortstop trotted out to his position in the bottom of the frame, he was summoned out of the contest by manager Alex Cora. The 28-year-old had delivered an RBI single in the first inning.
The Red Sox have been devastated by COVID-19 as of late. Heading into Tuesday, Kike Hernandez, Christian Arroyo, Matt Barnes, and Martin Perez had tested positive. Just hours before first pitch, reliever Hirokazu Sawamura, who was a candidate to serve as the team’s starter on Tuesday, also tested positive.
Sawamura’s positive test forced the Red Sox to promote Brad Peacock from Triple-A just one day after acquiring him via trade. Peacock started Tuesday’s game, allowing five runs over 2.1 innings. Boston also called up Stephen Gonzalves, who relieved Peacock in the third inning.
In addition to Bogaerts and the five other players who tested positive, reliever Josh Taylor and first base coach Tom Goodwin landed on the COVID-19 list as close contacts. Meanwhile, coaches Ramon Vazquez and Kiyoshi Momose also tested positive. As an organization, Boston has received eight positive tests and lost two more members due to protocols.
Bogaerts has been one of the most impactful players for the Red Sox this season. The All-Star is slashing .298/.366/.501 with 20 home runs, 70 RBI, 48 walks, and 95 strikeouts this year. He hasn’t been placed on the injured list since April of 2018.
The Red Sox have found themselves in a rut as of late. Once the top team in all of baseball, Boston is now 75-58, which ranks third in the American League East. They currently hold the second Wild Card spot, but the Athletics are not far behind and could surpass the Sox if their COVID-19 outbreak continues. When all is said and done, August will go down as Boston’s first month of the season in which they produce a negative win-loss record.