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 1st time is anything Devers will by no means neglect.
“It was a fantastic knowledge, a seriously very good knowledge for me,” Devers mentioned. “I’m quite satisfied that I had the chance to represent my nation. The games have been quite, quite intense, quite motivational for me, and I felt satisfied to be in a position to represent my nation.”
The Dominican Republic was favored by a lot of 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 come about. I can go -for-20 or -for-30,” Devers mentioned. “That’s baseball. For me, I am confident about my capacity and what I can do, the items that I can do on the field. I am seriously calm. I am not seriously considering as well considerably 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 identical self-assurance as just before 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 extended 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 mentioned. “That’s a seriously wonderful moment for us as players, when you have so a lot of individuals cheering for you and be as loud as they have been.”
Watching Machado — an elite defender at third base — go about his enterprise was undoubtedly a bonus for Devers.
“Of course I discovered a lot from Manny Machado. He’s 1 of the ideal third basemen, if not the ideal third baseman, suitable now in the game,” Devers mentioned. “Just watching him going about his enterprise and playing, you understand a lot. It was a quite very good moment for me.”
The moments he got to bond with other stars from his nation was yet another perk of the knowledge.
“It was a fantastic knowledge to be in a position 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 seriously fantastic knowledge for me,” Devers mentioned.
Now that he is back in camp, the Red Sox want him to get the reps at third base that he missed though backing up Machado. Devers will commence Saturday’s dwelling 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 vital for us. It is quite vital,” mentioned 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 likely readier than everyone else right here. Repetitions at third base — just standing up more than there for 5 or six innings, seven innings — is vital for his conditioning as well. Of course we’ve got him right here now, and we’ll make certain he’s prepared for the season.”
When Devers currently proved in the 2018 and ‘21 postseasons that he embraces playing on the major stage, the Classic was a distinctive sort of specific for the 26-year-old.
“It wasn’t the ideal 1 for him of course, but to be about these guys and speak to them and the way he talks about these games, the intensity from pitch 1 all the way to the finish, it is a very good studying knowledge,” Cora mentioned. “It’s a enjoyable 1, 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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