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Red Sox vs. White Sox: Xander Bogaerts sits again

Whether we're trying to win or to develop talent, isn't Xander the better option either way?

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Xander Bogaerts is absent from yet another starting lineup for the Red Sox Thursday afternoon, one day after John Farrell pinch hit Mike Carp for the young infielder in the eighth inning.

Today's Lineups

Adam Eaton - CF Brock Holt - 3B
Gordon Beckham - 2B Dustin Pedroia - 2B
Jose Abreu - 1B David Ortiz - DH
Dayan Viciedo - LF Mike Napoli - 1B
Alexei Ramirez - SS Jonny Gomes - LF
Paul Konerko - DH Mookie Betts - RF
Moises Sierra - RF Stephen Drew - SS
Tyler Flowers - C David Ross - C
Leury Garcia - 3B Jackie Bradley - CF
Jose Quintana - LHP Jon Lester - LHP

There's a couple ways to look at this.

Xander Bogaerts is struggling, there's no question about that. His slump has frankly entered into the realm of the ridiculous at this point, and as a 21-year-old, there's something to be said for getting him mental days off. At this point, though, it's getting a little too frequent. Every fifth game or so. And at some point Xander really just needs to see more sliders, to say nothing about how said 21-year-old will take being phased out like this.

It's all a big mess in that nebulous world of player development. And while John Farrell says that the Sox are still looking to win day in and day out, I expect most would agree that at this point in time it's development that should really be taking center stage. And for that, it's hard to say that the Red Sox wouldn't be better off with more Xander Bogaerts and, though it pains me to say it, less Stephen Drew.

First pitch is at 4:05 p.m. ET with broadcasts by NESN, WEEI, and the MLB Network.