The Red Sox decided to give Rafael Devers a look rather than trade for a third baseman at the deadline, and Devers proved up to the challenge as he more than held his own against top-level pitching as a 20-year-old. Devers posted a .344 wOBA and 111 wRC+ in 240 plate appearance and showed an ability to easily catch up to premium velocity. He was fortunate on balls in play (.342 BABIP), but Devers' strikeout rate was entirely manageable at 23.8 percent and the quality of the contact he made was excellent (89.5 mph average exit velocity). Devers beat up on same-handed pitching, albeit in a small sample, and he continued his success into the ALDS. A 9.7 percent walk rate in 77 games at Double-A last season hints at room for growth in that department as the former top prospect matures, and the lineup is conducive to compiling strong run and RBI totals. Fenway traditionally isn't great for lefty power, but Devers' bat is good enough to overcome the park.
Devers is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Astros, Tim Britton of The Providence Journal reports. Devers will retreat to the bench as manager John Farrell elects to go with Deven Marrero at third base due to southpaw Dallas Keuchel taking the mound for Houston. During Game 1 on Thursday, Devers went 0-for-3 with one RBI and two strikeouts.
Devers went 2-for-4 with a double and a three-run homer Friday against the Reds. Devers smashed his ninth homer of the season as part of a four-run fourth inning that helped deliver the Red Sox a come-from-behind victory. After raking throughout the months of July and August, he's hit just a single homer this month although he's still batting over .300 in September.
Devers is out of the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Orioles, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. Devers has started 13 straight games, over which he's posted a solid .314/.352/.392 line. However, he's been a liability on defense and committed in error in each of Boston's last five contests. He'll get the night off while Deven Marrero fills in at third base.
Devers reached base four times Friday, going 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored in a 9-3 win over the Rays. Devers, who had been held out of the starting lineup two consecutive days earlier in the week, is 5-for-7 with three runs scored and an RBI over two games since his break. The 20-year-old rookie had started 23 straight games, but his production started to drop off, prompting manager John Farrell to give Devers a break. Over the final 15 games of that 23-game stretch, Devers was hitting .179 with just two extra-base hits and one RBI. With Dustin Pedroia back from injury and Eduardo Nunez (back) around, Farrell can more effectively manage Devers' playing time.
Devers is not in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports. With the Red Sox's infield finally healthy, Devers will head to the bench for a second straight game. It's worth noting that a righty is on the mound for the opposition Tuesday, which suggests Devers may shift to more of a part-time role down the stretch. Eduardo Nunez will again lead off and start at the hot corner.