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."
For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.
We check in with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin of the NFL Network joined Dale and Michael to break down and analyze Pats-Jets.
We check in with Tom E for a full breakdown of the Patriots close win over the Jets.
ESPN Insider, Adam Schefter, discusses Rex Ryan's job security, Marvin Lewis concussion comments, as well as the Patriots-Jets
Kirk Minihane joins the We Hate Dwyane Wade Show to preview the upcoming Celtics season. Ben and Sam also discuss the Rajon Rondo/Jeff Green trade rumors and dabble in the classic NBA analytics debate.
Dr Nick Leung for the Newton Wellesley Orthopedics Association joins Ben to talk about Rajon Rondo's broken hand.
The debut edition of the We Hate Dwyane Wade show. Ben and Sam preview the Celtics and talk about other summer news around the NBA.
Joe Castiglione does his annual wrap-up of the season by reading the poem by Bart Giamatti.
Mut and Rob discuss the "kids" and the variety of young bodies the Red Sox called upon this season. Specifically, they look at Bogaerts and Bradley, Jr. and where things went wrong. They give their opinions on which one will right the ship next season.
Description: Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett looks back at the 2014 Red Sox prospect season by answering listener questions about a number of Red Sox prospects as well as broader issues and themes in the farm system.
The world's biggest Canadiens fan Tony Marinaro joins MFB after the Bruins and Tuukka Rask suffered another loss in Montreal.
We check in with NESN's Jack Edwards for a Bruins-Canadiens preview, live from French-Quebec.
Pierre McGuire joins MFB to analyze last night's Bruins-Red Wings game and preview tonight's game against the Canadiens. Pierre also offers his take on fighting in the NHL.
Rodney Harrison on the Pats close win over the Jets.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys opened the show discussing the Pats win last night.
Red Wine Baths and a Blind Jake Peavy
We discuss the Bruins loss in Montreal, and more importantly their loss of composure, and whether or not Lucic and Marchand are pulling their weight.
Dale, Michael and Barstoolsports Jerry Thornton break down the Pats close win over the Jets on Thursday Night Football.
Mikey, Villani and Lenny are talking about the 2004 Red Sox on the anniversary of Game 4 of the ALCS with Dave Roberts steal abd Bill Mueller driving him in and what it was like to witness.
Mikey, Mut and Lenny are talking about the Patriots and how they have stacked up through the years and what got them to the three championships and five Super Bowl appearances in the Brady-Belichick era.
Mikey and Mut take a call from someone who wants to criticize Belichick the GM and his history of drafting players and making moves in the draft.
This week Pete gives the listeners a brief, but enthusiastic history lesson the ineptitude of the New York Jets. They also help you set your final rosters for your Week 7 fantasy teams.
Predictions for the Revs moving into the playoffs, Jurgen Klinsmann vs Don Garber, and Ben needs a new European team to root for.
Rodney Harrison on the Pats close win over the Jets.More from this show
John Rooke is in studio as Scott Cordischi joins us from Princeton, as he preps his Brown Bears for today’s game. They open the first hour looking at the Patriots win over the struggling NY Jets and the(not so) controversial referee action resulting in the game winning blocked kick. John goes solo in hour two, taking more of your calls, texts and tweets. Midnight Madness is back for NCAABB and Rex Ryan takes time from licking his wounds, to join us for “3 Things”.More from this show
Craig and Larry start breaking down Thursday night's 27-25 win over the Jets. Amendola had a huge TD catch. Tom Brady looked good, (but so did Geno.) Also, Chris Jones got some redemption with a last-second FG block.More from this show