FORT MYERS, Fla. — Rafael Devers, regardless of a disappointing functionality in the Planet Baseball Classic from an person and a group standpoint, was all smiles upon returning to Red Sox camp on Friday.
Representing the Dominican Republic on an international stage for the initially time is a thing Devers will under no circumstances overlook.
“It was a excellent knowledge, a definitely excellent knowledge for me,” Devers stated. “I’m really delighted that I had the chance to represent my nation. The games have been really, really intense, really motivational for me, and I felt delighted to be capable to represent my nation.”
The Dominican Republic was favored by numerous to win the Classic but rather got knocked out of Pool D with a two-two record, losing to Venezuela and Puerto Rico. Devers, who served as the cleanup hitter and DH for a squad that had Manny Machado at third base, went two-for-16 with two walks and no RBIs.
“Those items take place. I can go -for-20 or -for-30,” Devers stated. “That’s baseball. For me, I am confident about my potential and what I can do, the items that I can do on the field. I am definitely calm. I am not definitely considering as well a great deal into it. It really is not like I went two-for-16 and I forgot how to hit or something like that. It just occurred in that tournament. I nevertheless have the exact same self-assurance as prior to I left the camp.”
If the functionality by Devers was forgettable, there have been components of the knowledge that the left-handed-hitting slugger will don’t forget for a lengthy time. What stood out the most was the electric crowd in Miami.
“There was a moment exactly where I could not hear anyone beside me,” Devers stated. “That’s a definitely stunning moment for us as players, when you have so numerous persons cheering for you and be as loud as they have been.”
Watching Machado — an elite defender at third base — go about his company was surely a bonus for Devers.
“Of course I discovered a lot from Manny Machado. He’s a single of the most effective third basemen, if not the most effective third baseman, suitable now in the game,” Devers stated. “Just watching him going about his company and playing, you study a lot. It was a really excellent moment for me.”
The moments he got to bond with other stars from his nation was a further perk of the knowledge.
“It was a excellent knowledge to be capable to share a clubhouse with these guys, with [Juan] Soto, with Machado, with Jeremy Peña. These are guys that you would like to share your clubhouse with or your group with at any moment, and it was a definitely excellent knowledge for me,” Devers stated.
Now that he is back in camp, the Red Sox have to have him to get the reps at third base that he missed even though backing up Machado. Devers will start off Saturday’s property game at the hot corner against the Orioles. Immediately after a day off Sunday when the Red Sox go to Clearwater to play the Phillies, Devers will play the subsequent 3 days.
“Just for him to get his repetitions at third base is essential for us. It is really essential,” stated Red Sox manager Alex Cora. “Today he took ground balls with [infield instructor] Carlos [Febles] on the back fields. As far as the at-bats, he’s in all probability readier than any one else right here. Repetitions at third base — just standing up more than there for 5 or six innings, seven innings — is essential for his conditioning as well. Definitely we’ve got him right here now, and we’ll make positive he’s prepared for the season.”
Though Devers currently proved in the 2018 and ‘21 postseasons that he embraces playing on the massive stage, the Classic was a various sort of unique for the 26-year-old.
“It wasn’t the most effective a single for him definitely, but to be about these guys and speak to them and the way he talks about these games, the intensity from pitch a single all the way to the finish, it is a excellent mastering knowledge,” Cora stated. “It’s a enjoyable a single, and [he] checked that box. We’ll see what takes place [next World Baseball Classic], but at least he can say he represented his nation and now he’s with us.”
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