Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers is experiencing discomfort in his right forearm, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier and Michael Silverman.
Per Speier and Silverman, the issue comes into focus when Devers swings and misses while at the plate, though it does not present a problem when he makes contact.
In the midst of a 1-for-4 performance in which he struck out twice in Thursday’s 5-0 loss to the Rays in Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Tropicana Field, the 24-year-old slugger appeared to show some signs of discomfort in his right arm/wrist area whenever he would swing-and-miss at a pitch.
Of the five times Devers whiffed on Thursday night, there were at least one or two times where he seemingly grimaced while dropping his bat from his right hand.
As noted by Speier and Silverman, this has been a common occurrence for Devers for the last few weeks, and the two link his recent actions in the batter’s box to when he first started wearing a compression sleeve ” that stretches above and below his elbow” on September 26.
Following Thursday’s loss to Tampa Bay, Devers — who declined to speak with the media on his way to the team bus — was seen wearing “the same or similar compression sleeve he wore during the game on his right arm,” per Speier and Silverman.
When asked postgame if his All-Star infielder was dealing with an injury of some sort, Red Sox manager Alex Cora played coy, instead citing that Devers is just experiencing the typical wear-and-tear a 162-game season has to offer.
“After 162 [games], things happen and you get treatment, and you grind, you know?” Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo). “Not everybody is 100% right now, and he is posting.”
Leading up to Thursday’s ALDS opener, there were a few instances where Devers showed the same signs of discomfort by dropping his bat and flexing his right arm upon coming up empty on a swing in Sunday’s win over the Nationals and Tuesday’s Wild Card Game victory over the Yankees at Fenway Park.
On Sunday specifically, Devers homered twice as part of a four-hit showing that guaranteed the Sox a spot in the Wild Card Game. On Tuesday, while going 0-for-2 with a pair of walks and a strikeout, Devers again dropped his bat more than once.
With that being said, though Cora — as pointed out by Cotillo — “eluded to a theory that Devers was ‘setting up’ opposing pitchers” in a way by dropping his bat.
“A few days ago everybody said he was setting up the pitcher whenever he drops the bat,” Cora said Thursday night. “Today because he (got one hit), he is hurt.”
Speier and Silverman added on to this by noting that Cora would not want to reveal too much about what is going on with Devers since it “would fuel, to some extent, the Rays’ plan for how they would attack him the rest of the series.”
(Picture of Rafael Devers: Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)