David Ortiz, Mookie Betts, and Xander Bogaerts earned 2016 Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards this week, making the Red Sox the only major league club with three such honorees this season. The awards, which have been made since 1980, are determined by a vote of baseball managers and coaches for the best offensive production at each position in both the American and National Leagues.
This year’s was Ortiz’ seventh Silver Slugger honor (also 2004-07, 2011, and 2013). It’s the most by a Red Sox player in franchise history. Wade Boggs and Manny Ramirez had six each with Boston.
The award for Bogaerts was his second in as many seasons. He’s the first Red Sox player with multiple Silver Sluggers at shortstop.
Betts joins Dwight Evans, Ellis Burks, Jason Varitek, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Adrian Gonzalez as the only Red Sox to earn both a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in the same season.
The all-time record for Silver Slugger Awards is 12 by Barry Bonds, followed by Hall of Famers Mike Piazza (10) and Barry Larkin (9).
A few other notes of interest now for Red Sox fans:
- The club announced that Mookie Betts had successful knee surgery this week, officially an arthroscopy, chondroplasty and a loose body removal. They say he’ll be ready to go for Spring Training.
- Speaking of the spring, the Sox set their schedule for the trek to Florida, with due dates for player arrivals and a schedule of exhibition games that starts February 23. It will be the Red Sox’ sixth season at JetBlue Park. Tickets go on sale December 3 at redsox.com. Key Red Sox dates are always up to date and counting down right here, on the RSNStats web site.
- We never really got to see much from new Sox reliever Carson Smith in 2016. Smith was limited to just 2.2 IP before an injury that led to Tommy John surgery last May 24. Baseball president Dombrowski says it’s possible Smith might be ready to compete by the spring, though a more reasonable expectation, he admits, is June 1.