Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox's No. 1 prospect, has made quick work of Double-A. Just two months into the season, Bogaerts was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday.
Bogaerts is ranked as the No. 19 prospect in baseball by MLB.com and has lived up to the hype so far this year. He hit .311 with a .909 OPS in 56 games at Double-A Portland, and since the calendar turned to June, he has been even better. Bogaerts has batted .424 with a .548 on-base percentage this month.
Bogaerts became the youngest position player in Pawtucket history when he debuted Thursday night against Buffalo. But being one of the youngest players is nothing new to Bogaerts. He has raced through the Minor Leagues since the Red Sox signed him out of Aruba in 2009, when he was 16.
"This looks to be a pretty special player," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He's well ahead of the age curve, being at Triple-A at 20."
Bogaerts' age hasn't slowed him down so far this season. He had been the youngest position player in the Eastern League. Even so, he ranks in the top 10 in the league in batting average, OPS, triples and walks.
"He's got a lot going for him," said Farrell. "He is going to get some work at other positions as well, not just at shortstop, which would fall right in line with every other young infielder that we've recently brought there. He's going to play shortstop, at least for the first week to 10 days there, but then we'll look to get him some work at second and third to get him further exposure to other parts.
"In the situation he's in, if we had some unforeseen things take place here through injury, and yet he's the best bat available, we want to be sure that we've at least exposed him to other positions so we wouldn't have a hesitation to move him into another spot."
Bogaerts also played for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic this spring. In deference to Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons, Bogaerts played third base in the event.
Farrell says Buchholz's start to be pushed back
BALTIMORE -- Red Sox manager John Farrell said that Clay Buchholz's next start has been pushed back a few days, and the team is hoping the right-hander can pitch on Tuesday.
Buchholz has been battling neck/AC joint problems, and the Red Sox were hoping he'd start in Sunday's series finale with Baltimore. But Farrell said Jon Lester is going to start that game, with Buchholz moved back at least two days.
"Clay threw again today, with some slight improvement," Farrell said before Thursday's series opener in Baltimore. "There's still some soreness in that neck muscle, the base of the muscle, but everything in the AC joint is free and clear."
Still, Farrell wouldn't lock Buchholz into Tuesday. They want the 9-0 righty to feel fine before walking out to the mound for his next start.
"As we've stated before, we're going to make sure there are no symptoms felt," Farrell said. "So we're targeting more like Tuesday. This is basically two additional days. I wish I could say it's going to be a concrete thing for Tuesday, but we feel like two additional days with be [enough] time to get over the soreness. But we won't put him out there until he's symptom free."
Buchholz goes into that next start with a sparkling 1.71 ERA in his first 12 starts.
Red Sox recall Wilson, send Aceves to Pawtucket
BALTIMORE -- The Red Sox, as expected, called up right-hander Alex Wilson from Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday and sent Alfredo Aceves back to Pawtucket.
Wilson returned with a 1-0 record and 2.50 ERA with the Red Sox this season. He was recalled on April 9 and sent back to Pawtucket after Boston's May 28 game.
The right-hander often pitched effectively with the Red Sox, as 12 of his 16 appearances were scoreless. He allowed more than one run just one time.
Boston manager John Farrell was impressed what Wilson's work earlier this season and said he could pitch in Thursday's series opener with the Orioles, if needed.
"He's had two days down, so he's available," Farrell said. "He did a good job [last time] and threw strikes, and seemed to attack lefties and righties both, and he's starting to get his feet on the ground for a young guy. He's got the capability to go multiple innings. We're comfortable with him being here."
Aceves came up Wednesday and made a spot start in Tampa Bay, getting the win in Boston's 2-1 victory over the Rays.
He allowed just one run on four hits in six innings, struck out three and walked four. Aceves improved to 3-1 with the win.
• The Red Sox entered the Baltimore series having scored 78 more runs than they've allowed, the second-best run differential in the American League and third best in the Major Leagues. Only Detroit (81) had better numbers in the AL, with St. Louis (plus-101) leading the Majors.
• Ryan Dempster is the scheduled starter in Friday's game versus the Orioles. He's pitched in 560 games, but this is going to be his first career appearance at Camden Yards.