Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling made his weekly appearance on Dennis & Callahan with Minihane on Wednesday morning where he discussed all things Red Sox, including his belief that Eduardo Rodriguez is in fact not tipping pitches. To hear the complete interview, go to the D&C audio on demand page.
“[Rodriguez] is not pitching on a short leash for his life in the sense that you think. What you don’t want to do is to continue to allow a young pitcher to completely loose his confidence. It is hard. He is struggling,” said Schilling. “He is basically a two-pitch pitcher right now, which is a big problem. He isn’t tipping his pitches. You get tired of hearing stuff like that. He is struggling right now and that is normal.
“The problem is, and you have to know your players, you don’t want a guy to pitch his way into thinking he can’t get anyone out and I think that is where he is right now. He is struggling mentality and you can see it by the body language, you can see it by the facial expressions. He doesn’t have a lot of confidence. I can tell you that is the scariest thing that happened to me. I was struggling to the point where I was afraid to throw strikes because I was afraid if I threw a strike it was gong to be a double.”
Added Schilling: “I watch him throw. He is not [tipping pitches]. If you are going to want to watch a guy tip his pitches there are two things to look at. One is how he positions his glove on every pitch because when guys generally tip their pitches their glove will be held at a different height or a different angle because they are trying to grip a ball differently. Or you watch their head or glove hand. He isn’t tipping his pitches, I’m watching him. Here is the thing: you have to tip your pitches early enough for the hitter to know, so it can’t be right in the middle of your delivery when you are doing a certain thing and the hitter says, ‘Oh my god curveball.’
“I’ll give you an example. In game six of the 2001 World Series. Andy Pettitte tipped every pitch he was throwing with a runner on base. You knew as soon as he set exactly what was coming. That is how you tip your pitches. We scored, I think, 16 runs, we beat them like 16-2 … We saw it the first inning. Someone got on and he was setting his hands high and low. High was breaking ball and low was fastball or it might have been the other way around.”
(It’s worth noting Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo confirmed Rodriguez is in fact tipping pitches when he was on with Mike Giardi and Rob Bradford over the weekend.)
Schilling wasn’t satisfied with way Clay Buchholz pitched on Tuesday night. The right-hander allowed three runs in five innings, which was his first start since the end of May.
“You go up against a guy like Chris Sale you can’t give up a run in the first two innings, you can’t. Those are the kind of guys that you have to know that the winning run steps to the plate with the leadoff when you face a guy like that,” said Schilling. “Five innings and three earned runs that is in an outing that you are incredibly pissed when the game is over.”
Added Schilling: “I don’t feel like [Buchholz] has the, ‘Okay listen this is a big game need to reach down, need to be special tonight.’ You listen to him after the game, I’m sure he is trying as hard as he can, but he is fifth starter and this is not a championship team with this rotation right now.”
Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.
On Rusney Castillo: “I don’t think anybody [saw Castillo play a baseball game]. They were caught up, at the time that was the trend, right. You had [Yasiel] Puig and a couple other guys coming out of Cuba and they don’t ever not want to be in on the fad. I think that was one of the things that made them strong when Theo was here, they never got caught up in fads. Until the ownership meddled, and they ended up going with [Carl] Crawford and all the things that happened there, they were always kind of on their own little island, doing their own little thing, which is why Theo is so good at what he does.
On how Dave Dombrowski will deal for a player: “Dave has a track record of being really good at what he does. He has made some great trades. He has made some really smart signings and all the things that go with that. I don’t know how much value Dave Dombrowski places in the prospects in this organization. You remember Cherington and Theo, [prospects] were for the most part untouchable. And I’m not saying that in a negative way. I don’t know how much they are worth to him because if they are tradable, if the [Andrew] Benintendis, [Yoan] Moncadas and those guys are tradable, then a move like those two guys plus Jackie Bradley Jr. plus an elite pitching prospect might get you a [Jose] Fernandez.”
On if David Ortiz will attend the All-Star game: “No doubt in my mind he will go. I think given where they are and what is going on that would be a perfect three-day rest period or four-day rest period for him. He talked about feeling bad for this whole farewell tour. I don’t wonder if he will feel obligated that he will have to play.”
On John Farrell’s decision making: “Players have to play. You watch any manager whose utility players are going crazy, whose pinch hitters are hitting .650 and the manager looks brilliant when the players play the game. I think [Farrell] struggles at time to manage the roster during the game and I don’t think the players that he needs to succeed for him to look better are doing the things they need to be doing.”