DENVER — Xander Bogaerts is back in the San Diego Padres and believing (after he tested his left wrist in the batting cages) that he is fully capable to contribute in the first of a three-game series in Denver against the Colorado Rockies.
San Diego Padres injury news: Xander Bogaerts confident in wrist
Bogaerts hasn't played since June 3 but was back in the San Diego lineup on Friday, batting fifth in the order and sliding in at shortstop in the opener at Coors Field.
"I've felt better every day since I came out of the game and I feel good to play," Bogaerts said.
When asked about his confidence level in his wrist, Bogaerts quickly said, "99.9." That's a good sign for a Padres team that could use him to return to the form he displayed in 125 plate appearances in March and April when he slashed .308/.400/.514. Those numbers, however, have dipped dramatically in May and June, with his batting average for those months dropping below .200 in 118 plate appearances.
"I hit in the cages to see how it feels, but the first time you hit you're always a little nervous," Bogaerts said. "I feel pretty good."
Bogaerts said he was more concerned about the wrist affecting his hitting than his fielding.
"With defense, you might have a game where you don't even have a ground ball," Bogaerts said. "There's one way to hit. I wish I could bunt, but I don't know how to bunt."
Bogaerts returning to the lineup could be a very good sign for both him and the Padres. While it is certainly a small sample size (10 plate appearances), Bogaerts is slashing .556/.636/1.778 at Coors Field in the span of two games when the Boston Red Sox played in Denver in August of 2019. Bogaerts hit three home runs in the span and drove in four runs.