Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, in an appearance on “MLB Network Radio channel on SiriusXM” with Jim Bowden and Casey Stern, said that his team would not reconsider its decision to commit to Daniel Bard in the rotation. While he did leave open the possibility of reconsidering the pitcher's role down the road, Cherington said that the team's 0-3 start, which included two games in which the combination of Alfredo Aceves and Mark Melancon contributed directly to the losses, would not prompt the Sox to reconsider the best usage of Bard before he makes his first start.
"Right now, he’s starting [Tuesday] for us. We made a decision this winter collectively to give him a chance to get stretched out in spring training and show us what he can do. We feel like he showed enough in spring training, enough development, to carry that into the season," said Cherington. "If he can do that and do it well, and we believe he can, then there’s a great long-term benefit to the organization. ... It’s way too early in the season to talk about changing roles or reacting off a three-game series. Ultimately, of course if things are not working deeper as we get deeper into the season, we’ll consider changes, whether that involves a pitcher inside the organization, outside the organization, different roles, etc., but for right now, Daniel’s going to start tomorrow. We’ll see how this goes, and again, we feel like there's enough talent down there to get the job done."
Asked if Bard was the best closer on the roster, regardless of his current role, Cherington suggested that it was impossible to make a definitive claim on that subject.
"Your guess is as good as mine. He's done it less at the major league level than [Alfred] Aceves and [Mark] Melancon, so I don't know the answer to that," said Cherington. "I do know that right now, he's starting tomorrow and we're committed to that and he's committed to that. ... If decisions need to be made on changing roles, moving guys in or out [of the bullpen], bringing news guys in, that needs to come a little bit later."
As for the bullpen, which has allowed 10 earned runs in 11 1/3 innings (7.94 ERA), tied for second-to-last in the majors, Cherington suggested that he remains comfortable with the personnel whom the Sox have for now.
"I think we have plenty of talented options in the bullpen that [manager Bobby Valentine] can use. I thought Bobby did a really good job, giving us a chance to win this weekend and making a lot of good decisions in-game, both on the offensive side of the ball and on the pitching front," said Cherington. "Ultimately, the guys just need to execute a little bit better. Bobby and I talked every day, including this morning, about it. There’s plenty of talent down there. We just need to execute a little bit better, maybe get a little dose of luck and those things can combine and snowball into a run of success.
"I think it’s way too early to start talking about changes and whether we have the right guys or not. There’s that old adage that you take the first couple months of the season to figure out what you are, then the next two months to fix it and the last two months watching. That’s probably too simple, especially in a place like Boston, but I think we’ve got to give these guys a little bit more time."
Cherington also cited the possibility of reinforcements from the disabled list in the form of Andrew Miller and Rich Hill in suggesting the team's comfort with its bullpen.
Other topics that Cherington addressed during the interview included:
On the 0-3 start: "We knew there would be attention on the team, attention on how we start. It's three games. i don't really even feel like we've started yet. We've played three games. It was good to see how much we fought yesterday. Guys grinded at-bats, played hard."
On the team's interest in free-agent Roy Oswalt: Cherington said that the Sox will remain in touch with the right-hander, but that he's not an immediate-term consideration. "I know he's talked to several teams. I think Roy felt like now is not the time for him to start pitching," said Cherington. "We'll keep in touch with him, but it's not something that's on the front-burner. We certainly respect the fact that he has earned the right, through what he's done in his career, to be selective in not just who he pitches for but when he pitches. He's exercising that right. We respect that. We'll keep in touch, but right now, we're really focused on the guys we have."
On his relationship with Bobby Valentine: Cherington said that he was impressed with the in-game decision-making of his manager during the first series of the season. More broadly, Cherington said that he's enjoying the give-and-take of the relationship. "Our personalities are different. I think we went into this hoping we would complement each other well. I think we are," said Cherington. "I've learned a lot from him. Hopefully he's learned some things from me. When it comes to decisions, whether it's roster decisions or whatever, and we'll have plenty of them as we go through the season, that complement will result in a good outcome.
"I want him to push me. I want him to challenge my assumptions. He's been very, very open-minded about ideas I might have, whatever they may be. If we can push back on each other and be respectful in doing it, and whatever the decision is, leave the office, leave the door behind, go out and do our jobs, that's the kind of productive relationship that I want, and I think that's the relationship Bobby wants. I don't want someone who is going to agree with me all the time. I don't think that's what he wants, either. It's been really good so far. I've really enjoyed it."
On Carl Crawford: Cherington said that Crawford is "doing well" and nearing game activity in extended spring training in Fort Myers. The GM said that Crawford has had no further setbacks since his "little minor hiccup" with his wrist in the early stages of spring training. Cherington feels that the left-fielder, who is entering the second year of his seven-year, $142 million deal, is using his injured time to positive effect.
"Though he's not having at-bats yet, lot of work in the cage, video, etc., to get that feeling back in the batter's box that he's had when he's been at his best in Tampa and in previous seasons," said Cherington. "I don't have any reason to think he's not going to be a really good player in time, once he's back and fully comfortable, gets his legs underneath him. We certainly expect that we're going to have a very, very productive left-fielder and a guy who's closer to the Tampa Bay version than the one we saw last year."
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Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick joins Dale and Steve DeOssie to talk about cutting the roster down to 53 players. Jimmy Garoppolo is set to start and play most, if not all of the preseason contest against the Giants. Bill also expressed his thoughts about the kicking game and how some of the new rules have affected the importance of it.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the news that Jimmy Garoppolo will get the start Thursday and play most of the game. They talk about what it might mean for Ryan Mallett.
Julian Edelman joins Christian and Danny Picard to talk about his approach going into the season, his performance this preseason, as well as the VMAs, and preventing cramps using mustard.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Joe talked to the Sox right-hander, who allowed three hits and zero walks in the 3-0 win over the Rays.
Red Sox Manager John Farrell talks about Bogaerts' concussion and the youth movement.
As he does every Wednesday, Buster Olney, ESPN, joins the boys of MFB to talk baseball. This week Buster shed some light on what to expect from Rusney Castillo, and how Cuban players are being viewed. He suggests that the acquisition of Castillo helps Boston's chances to get Giancarlo Stanton. Also, the Sox should shut down Koji if they want to re-sign him.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
Hackers obtained hundreds private photo's of celebrities such as Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence. Also, Market Basket is back in business, and Pete Frates and his wife Julie have a baby girl, Lucy.
The usual suspects had the day off so the hosts of The Real Post Game Show stepped to talk about the Pats. Logan Mankins and Ryan Mallett were both traded and Miami is 6 days away.
John Frates called in to the show to discuss his son Peter and his past experience with Fred.
7th round draft pick Michael Sam was trying to be the first openly-gay player in the NFL. With only 7 days to go before the season opener, the Rams released him on one of the last round of cuts.
The Patriots finally completed a deal that was speculated for weeks, when they traded back up QB Ryan Mallett to the Texans for a conditional 7th round pick. Mallett will be reunited with former New England quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien.
More reaction from the Logan Mankins-Tim Wright trade.
Tom Curran recaps the Pats preseason and talks about some of the players who may get cut.
Michael Irvin talks about the final preseason game for the Patriots and the biggest storylines heading into the opening weekend.
We recap the summer's biggest sports stories leading into Labor Day Weekend.
Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.
Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Fantasy Football Drafts are now happening every day, so Pete Davidson and Jim Hackett have you covered. The NFL season kicks off on Thursday night, so Pete and Jim get their final thoughts of some drafting strategies. They discuss their Auction draft from earlier in the week. Also, some big name players that smart drafters should avoid.
We know your Fantasy Football drafts are happening right now, so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are here to help. We know you’d never blow off work to draft right? Turn up the speakers! Our fantasy guys chat up Pete’s most recent article on WEEI.com that offers background on several players you can target late in drafts across multiple league sizes; covering upside players to grab in 8-team leagues, 10-team leagues, 12-team leagues and 14-team leagues. Jim and Pete will be back at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning on your radio dial, 93.7 FM, with more ammo for all this weekend’s drafters. Good luck!
How can teams acquire players who are entering their primes without having to live through the potentially massive transition of prospects coming from the minors to the big leagues? The Red Sox have two such case studies. The signing of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo represents one effort to acquire a player for his prime years for whom the transition to big league-caliber competition might not be turbulent. Red Sox assistant director of player personnel discusses the scouting process involved with landing Castillo. The episode also features Brock Holt, the one rookie who played at a consistently high level for the Red Sox this year. Holt explores some of the distinctions that might help to explain why he did not experience some of the struggles that characterized the seasons of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.
John Frates called in to the show to discuss his son Peter and his past experience with Fred.More from this show
More reaction from the Logan Mankins-Tim Wright trade.More from this show