FORT MYERS, Fla. — Rafael Devers, regardless of a disappointing efficiency 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 some thing Devers will under no circumstances overlook.
“It was a fantastic expertise, a truly very good expertise for me,” Devers stated. “I’m quite pleased that I had the chance to represent my nation. The games have been quite, quite intense, quite motivational for me, and I felt pleased to be capable to represent my nation.”
The Dominican Republic was favored by numerous to win the Classic but alternatively 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 points come about. I can go -for-20 or -for-30,” Devers stated. “That’s baseball. For me, I am confident about my capability and what I can do, the points that I can do on the field. I am truly calm. I am not truly 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 nonetheless have the similar self-confidence as prior to I left the camp.”
If the efficiency by Devers was forgettable, there have been components of the expertise that the left-handed-hitting slugger will try to remember 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 stated. “That’s a truly wonderful moment for us as players, when you have so numerous individuals cheering for you and be as loud as they have been.”
Watching Machado — an elite defender at third base — go about his small business was definitely 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, correct now in the game,” Devers stated. “Just watching him going about his small business 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 one more perk of the expertise.
“It was a fantastic expertise 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 truly fantastic expertise for me,” Devers stated.
Now that he is back in camp, the Red Sox want him to get the reps at third base that he missed even though backing up Machado. Devers will start out 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 significant for us. It is quite significant,” 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 most likely readier than any individual else right here. Repetitions at third base — just standing up more than there for 5 or six innings, seven innings — is significant for his conditioning as well. Naturally 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 major stage, the Classic was a various type of unique for the 26-year-old.
“It wasn’t the ideal 1 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 1 all the way to the finish, it is a very good mastering expertise,” Cora stated. “It’s a exciting 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.”