Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is expected to miss about two weeks after cracking a bone in his left ankle.

Xander Bogaerts Red Sox
Xander Bogaerts exits Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays with an injured ankle that will keep him out for about two weeks. (Image: Nancy Lane/Boston Herald)

The injury occurred during the seventh inning of Boston’s 8-7 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday. Bogaerts slid awkwardly down the steps into the Rays’ dugout while chasing after a misplayed ball. On Monday, an MRI confirmed the injury and landed Bogaerts on the 10-day disabled list.

No Surgery Required

At the moment, the Red Sox say that their shortstop won’t need surgery, and should be back in somewhere between 10 and 14 days. Until then, it’s likely that Brock Holt will take much of the time that would have gone to Bogaerts, and might move around to a few different positions over the course of the next couple weeks for the team.

“I feel comfortable at shortstop, second base, third base, pretty much anywhere,” Holt said after Sunday’s game. “I hate to see [Bogaerts] get injured there, especially with his spot [in the lineup] coming up there in a big spot. But I feel like I can step in and do a good job.”

The 25-year-old Bogaerts was off to a hot start in the 2018 season. In his first nine games he was hitting .368 with a 1.111 OPS, including a league-leading seven doubles and two home runs.

Bogaerts has been one of the key pieces of the Red Sox lineup over the past four seasons. During that time he has made one All-Star Game and earned two Silver Slugger awards as the best hitting shortstop in the American League. He has not been on the disabled list since 2014, when he missed time in August due to a concussion.

Sox and Yankees Expected to Duel for AL East Title

The Red Sox are off to a hot start, jumping out to an 8-1 record that sees them two games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays (7-4) in the AL East. The division favorite, the New York Yankees, are 3.5 games back at 5-5, having endured a slow start from their newly signed slugger Giancarlo Stanton.

That disappointing first two weeks has seen Boston creep up slightly in the betting odds for the AL East, and a short-term injury to Bogaerts won’t be enough to move the needle back towards the Yankees. At Bet365, New York is still a 21/20 favorite to win the division, but the Red Sox (23/20) are now right behind them, with the Toronto Blue Jays (21/4) also being seen as a potential spoiler.

The AL East race is expected to be a close one throughout the year, with both the Yankees and the Red Sox expected to make the playoffs. New York (6/1) and Boston (8/1) are both among the favorites to win the World Series this season, though the defending champion Houston Astros (23/5) are still considered the team to beat.