ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Xander Bogaerts figured his right hand would be sore when he awoke Friday.
"But I didn't expect it to feel this bad," the Boston Red Sox shortstop said.
One night after getting hit on the fleshy part of his hand by a pitch from Tampa Bay Rays starter Jacob Faria, Bogaerts wasn't in the Red Sox's lineup. The team remains hopeful that Bogaerts will be able to play either Saturday or Sunday before the four-day All-Star break.
Bogaerts' hand is still swollen and discolored. Although he said there's "a lot of improvement," it seems that only reveals how much pain he was feeling Thursday night. Because he was hit on his throwing hand, the injury impacts his defense as well as his offense.
"It's still tough to hold a bat and throw a ball," he said. "I knew coming in today it would be tough to play. Hopefully tomorrow it's much better compared to today."
Red Sox manager John Farrell noted that Bogaerts' injury could've been worse. X-rays were negative for a fracture, and the bruise is on what Farrell described as the "fatty part" of the hand rather than a bone.
"I've gotten hit a lot of times, but that was solid," Bogaerts said. "That got me good. I'm lucky it didn't get me on the bone, but it still hurts."
Bogaerts is batting .308 with 20 doubles, six homers, 41 RBIs and an .818 OPS in 80 games. He was a Final Vote candidate for the All-Star Game but finished as the runner-up to Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas.