Alex Cora to check in on Rafael Devers' offseason program


Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he'll visit with Rafael Devers in Puerto Rico on Thursday as he checks in on third baseman's new offseason training regimen.

At the winter meetings in Las Vegas, Cora said Devers, 22, has hired a trainer and a nutritionist as he spends the winter in his native Dominican Republic. The Red Sox want him to be in shape before spring training so he arrives fit in Fort Myers in February.

"One thing we want - he does an outstanding job in spring training of getting himself in shape. We don't want him to do that," Cora said. "We want him to come in shape and just have a regular spring training, and hopefully that's the case this year."

Devers, listed at 237 pounds, spent three stints on the disabled list with hamstring and shoulder injuries in his sophomore season in the majors. He seemed to fall out of favor with Cora late in the regular season when Eduardo Nunez got the bulk of the starts at third. 

Devers hit .240 with 21 homers and 66 RBI. He had a strong ALCS against the Astros, hitting .385 with a three-run homer in the pennant-clinching 4-1 victory in Game 5.

"He's into it right away," Cora said of Devers commitment to staying in shape. "He's only 22. He's learning. Eating habits. Working out, all that stuff."

Cora said at times the game sped up on Devers last season but he was encouraged by his October performance.

"We've been in contact with him constantly, and I do feel that those at-bats in October, that can translate over 162 games," Cora sais. "He was able to slow down. Whatever he found with his rehab assignment [at Triple-A Pawtucket while on the DL in August], he kept it moving forward for him."

After predicting .280, 30 homers and 100 RBI for Devers before last season, Cora said, "this year, I'll say he's going to be a good hitter, and we go from here."
As for the shape his young third baseman is in as he prepares for a third season in the majors, Cora said, "Looking forward to seeing on Thursday to see if it's real. I'll feed him rice and beans in Puerto Rico."

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