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.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the start of Patriots OTAs and the rookies' first taste of the NFL.
We talk to the newest inductee to the Patriots Hall of Fame, linebacker Willie McGinest.
Price tells Greg about what is in store for football fans and Patriots fans beyond Deflategate. We will, after all, move on at some point.
Greg Dickerson and John Tomase discuss the amazing season for the Celts and if they have any chance against Lebron and the Cleveland Cavs in a seven game series. If they do, HOW ... how do they get it done?
Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton check in with Sox Skipper John Farrell for his weekly chat. John breaks some news about David Ortiz with us.
Former teammate of Lou Merloni and current ESPN analyst Dallas Braden joins the guys to talk about doctoring the ball, cheating in baseball, and the struggling Red Sox.
Joe Castiglione talked to the Sox lefty, who allowed one run in eight innings as the Sox beat the Angels at Fenway.
Don Sweeney, who was hired as the Bruins general manager yesterday speaks with Dale and Holley about his new position and where the Bruins go from here.
The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
Adrian Peterson's twitter rant leaves us wondering which troubled running back we would rather have on our team.
All the latest stories brought to you by Kirk Minihane.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk discuss the Red Sox decision to sit down their slumping slugger.
The three hosts give their best efforts to spell the toughest names in sports.
Christian gives us five topics ranging from the NBA Finals to the FIFA Scandal
Rookie Eduardo Rodriguez pitched 7 and two thirds of shutout baseball in his debut. The guys discuss his performance and the benching of David Ortiz.
Bill Belichick said exactly what you think he'd say about deflategate and the penalties levied on the Patriots: nothing. Michael Holley, Steve Buckley and Greg Dickerson discuss it.
Michael and crew discuss the latest revelations about public funding in the bid for Boston to get the 2024 Olympics.
Michael Holley, Steve Buckley and Greg Dickerson discuss the Red Sox including the benching of David Ortiz, and the debut of rookie pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.
The Planet Mikey Show with Mikey Adams and Chris Villani reacts to the MLB debut of Eduardo Rodriguez and the impact he might have on the Red Sox.
Mikey Adams and Chris Villani discuss Boston Globe columnist Christopher Gasper's piece analyzing why the New England Patriots are hated outside of New England. Beyond just because they win, Villani believes Belichick is the key to sparking rage.
Mikey Adams and Chris Villani discuss the disappointing 21-26 start of the Boston Red Sox and who is most to blame. Also, caller Steve from Fall River sets Villani off with his DeflateGate take.
"Jerry is joined by his friend comedian Nick "Fitzy" Stevens to talk about awesomely cheesy 80s movies, the "Point Break" reboot, why in a world of limitless raunch everyone is so uptight, and a million other topics before they finally get to why everyone hates the Patriots and their fans."
On this edition of the It Is What It Is Cast Chris Price and Mike Petraglia talk about Malcolm Brown at Gillette and the latest news surrounding Tom Brady.
US Prosecutors arrest multiple members of FIFA. Ben, Russ, and Alex dissect what this means for the beautiful game.
Now he is not saying it's as bad as Chicken and Beer, but Lou Merloni thinks there are some team chemistry issues in the Red Sox clubhouse. The guys discuss the potential problems and what can be done to fix it.More from this show
Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton discuss Chris Gasper's column about the national hatred towards the Patriots, and why it isn't going anywhere anytime soon.More from this show
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.More from this show