We check in with the manager of the local nine to get his take on the Sox recent hot run, the performance of the pitching staff and much more.

[0:00:06] ... pretty good chance -- gonna lose now and then. And unfortunately for Jake Peavy there's a pretty good chance when he pitches they're not gonna score any runs. It it it varies from year to year last year was John Lackey was in that -- that can't. Mean they just didn't score when he pitched it just didn't I can remember -- were -- Tim Wakefield -- that where is just. They don't score and they don't score when PBA's pitching and I I am at the point where I'm sort of wondering. How many more times -- I'm out there. Well we're all respect. JP. A lot of respect for Jake Peavy. Think record great clubhouse kind. -- record guy. You like hang out with just a fun guy that -- too easy he's a media favorite for sure an enemy. AFC and accidentally. He continues to be called a tough luck losers without a lot. It's not on John Lackey level Lester John Lackey had a losing record last year it was a good pitcher. Jake Peavy is not a good pitcher lowest ERA plus of his career right now highest whip of his career right now. Second highest ERA of his career right now. Tied for the highest home run up per nine innings of -- career one point five where's that -- block these -- bad pitcher who. Communicates well with the media. That's why he's described this way it's medium guys at 101 that good. -- -- -- it manipulation it's an international sport all towards Jake Peavy all of that scored a run support problem that's a pitching problem. Like that even his arm that things worked out. I ...
[0:02:47] ... know what will dive right in the -- it with the weight Jake Peavy has been pitching. Are you -- point where you consider replacing him in your starting rotation. No not at this point. And ...
[0:04:57] ... on a team. What do you get run support last year was John Lackey we were talking about the second remembering your work Tim Wakefield just didn't get any run support whatsoever. Is this Jake Peavy easier for that. -- I would think everyone would would acknowledge that and you know. Unfortunately within this week with an all ...
[0:09:03] ... about you can see -- I mention have a date Q was Stephen Drew coming. You see the timing it's either the hard contact becoming a little bit more frequent. In David's case to an early ...

Red Sox manager John Farrell joined Dale & Holley on Wednesday afternoon to discuss Jake Peavy‘s performance on the mound, Dustin Pedroia

Red Sox manager John Farrell joined Dale & Holley on Wednesday afternoon to discuss Jake Peavy‘s performance on the mound, Dustin Pedroia‘s health and Christian Vazquez‘s reputation behind the plate. To listen to the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

If anyone would want the opportunity to hit the reset button on the 2014 season, it would have to be Peavy, who is 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA over 20 starts this year. Peavy has lost nine consecutive decisions, tying for the most ever by a former Cy Young Award winner.

Despite his lackluster numbers, Peavy often has been done in by the Red Sox lineup, as the righty is last in the AL in run-support average at 3.15.

“We recognize full where the record stands, but there’s been a number of games in which he’s carried a quality start into the seventh or eighth inning with really not much to show for, and I can’t say it’s just because of a lack of run support,” Farrell said. “Have there been things on a shared responsibly? Without question. But I can tell you that he’s pitched better than the record that he’s showing today.”

Farrell continued: “You look at the last start he made down in Houston where he’s walking out into the eighth inning in a one-run game or 2-2 tie, things don’t happen quite right. We leave 13 men on base. If there’s a base hit somewhere in there, we’re probably not having this same conversation, but that’s the reality of things. I thought through five innings last night, Jake probably had his best breaking ball of the season.”

While ESPN’s Buster Olney noted earlier Wednesday that rival scouts are concerned that Pedroia‘s all-out play could have an negative effect on his career, Farrell said that Pedroia is healthy, despite dealing with an 0-for-17 skid.

“He’s playing at 100 percent as far as I know. I see him every day; every player has got maintenance work that they do in the training room, which he goes through,” Farrell said. “Is his style of play more taxing physically? It might be. But I know that seeing him when he gets to the ballpark here at 1 in the afternoon, the early work that he goes through, that’s tapered off as we get deeper into the season. … Dustin’s got an off day coming up here as well. Even though we’re coming out of the All-Star Break, we’ve still got to be mindful of the number of consecutive days, and that’s part of the balancing act when it gets to this part of the season.”

With their next 11 games against AL East opponents, the Red Sox have entered a crucial part of the season that Farrell acknowledged could be the deciding factor on whether to raise the white flag on the 2014 campaign and affect the team’s decisions at next week’s trade deadline.

“We know that the games leading up to the end of this month are going to put us in a position where either we’ve closed ground on those ahead of us or we’ve maintained, and that’s where we’ve got to be brutally honest with ourselves and objective to the steps that are taken,” Farrell said. “But I will say this, that doesn’t necessarily mean we wouldn’t be a buyer. If it’s a player that becomes available to us that we can build beyond 2014, I don’t think we’d be hesitant to make that trade.”

Despite playing in just five games this season, Vazquez has impressed both Farrell and the Red Sox pitching corps with his maturity and willingness to help out his teammates on the mound.

“I think that it shows in the way he goes about not only receiving, but the way he blocks balls and keep in mind, this isn’t someone we just inserted that we had no history with. The last two spring trainings, he’s been in our camp, so guys are aware of him prior to coming here. It’s just the regular season in-game relationship that’s in the process of being established. … I think what he’s doing is not a surprise. … Things that stand out to me in postgame comments are his willingness to go to the mound, regardless of who’s on the mound … and he gives his honest feedback. That’s, I think, the beauty of Christian Vazquez in his own self-confidence in those moments.”

For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan

TORONTO — The Red Sox will have somebody besides Brock Holt at the top of their lineup since May 22, with the utilityman getting the day off and Shane Victorino sliding up to the batting order’s leadoff spot.

Brock Holt

Brock Holt

TORONTO — The Red Sox will have somebody besides Brock Holt at the top of their lineup since May 22, with the utilityman getting the day off and Shane Victorino sliding up to the batting order’s leadoff spot.

Since being inserted in the lineup’s top spot, Holt has more hits than any other leadoff man (77). He did, however, go hitless in Tuesday night’s game after going on a seven-game run in which he went 16-for-34 (.471).

Here is the rest of the Red Sox lineup with R.A. Dickey on the mound for the Blue Jays, and Clay Buchholz getting the start for the visitors:

Shane Victorino RF

Dustin Pedroia 2B

David Ortiz DH

Mike Napoli 1B

Daniel Nava LF

Xander Bogaerts 3B

Stephen Drew SS

Christian Vazquez C

Jackie Bradley CF

For all the matchups, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
With the non-waiver trade deadline a mere 8 days away, Buster talks about the market for guys like Cliff Lee, Jake Peavy, Koji Uehara, and the injuries Dustin Pedroia might be dealing with.

[0:01:41] ... Obviously they're two way maybe you would hear more about Koji and Andrew Miller but even hitting to a quarter what does that do for guys like Jake Peavy even a Johnny Gomes. Well I think -- they have enough gap. Where Decoud do you know serve all pitchers they could say look we're still trying to compete this year. And at the same time we can begin to turn over the roster a little bit like for example. -- Matt Cain going down with the Giants this week and being placed on disabled list the Giants really have no idea what they're gonna ...
[0:08:03] ... market was right handed relievers you can go get. Rocky story or Joaquin Benoit. These these check. Maybe grant out for the rays wind up selling you can find a reliever and that means that the ...

ESPN baseball reporter Buster Olney joined Middays with MFB on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the latest trade deadline news, Dustin Pedroia‘s struggles and Boston’s upcoming series against the Rays. To listen to the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Buster Olney

Buster Olney

ESPN baseball reporter Buster Olney joined Middays with MFB on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the latest trade deadline news, Dustin Pedroia‘s struggles and Boston’s upcoming series against the Rays. To listen to the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The Red Sox‘ current 8-2 run has complicated matters for Ben Cherington and Co. Boston is 8 1/2 games behind the Orioles in the AL East, but with the next 11 games scheduled against AL East opponents the Red Sox have a great opportunity to quickly gain ground before the July 31 trade deadline.

Olney said that even though the Red Sox could insert themselves back into a playoff race, he still could see the team parting ways with players such as Jake Peavy and Jonny Gomes.

“I think that they have enough depth where they could serve both interests,” Olney said. “They could say, ‘Look, we’re still trying to compete this year, and at the same time, we can begin to turn over the roster a little bit.’ … We know that Peavy has a past relationship with [Giants manager] Bruce Bochy with the San Diego Padres. He’d be a great fit [in San Francisco.] The Red Sox clearly have internal options where if they traded Peavy, they could have other guys step in.

“The reason why a deal with the Cardinals didn’t happen was because the expectations of the two sides were different. The Cardinals basically were telling them, ‘Look, we’ll take on the salary but we’re not going to give you anything in the way of a prospect,’ where the Red Sox were hoping for something a little bit more. … I think Jonny is kind of in the same boat, depending on what they want to do with their young outfielders. Do they want to use the last two months and ensure the fact that they’re going to give those guys playing time down the stretch and begin to not only try to win this year but focus ahead for next year.”

The Red Sox will travel to Tropicana Field to take on the Rays for a three-game set this weekend, as both teams look to chip away at the division standings with July drawing to a close. Olney said that fighting for a playoff spot likely will remain the main focus for both teams during the series, rather than the personal feud between David Ortiz and David Price, stemming from the last time the teams played on May 30- June 1.

“The Rays right now are in a position where every out in every game means something,” Olney said. “I mean, they’re literally hanging on the fence on what to do in terms of whether or not to trade David Price. … They’re 24-11 since June 10, so I tend to think that this thing will be deferred. Now, are there hard feelings still there? Absolutely. But I don’t think this is going to be the time or place. That said, I didn’t think it was the time or the place for the whole thing to flare up the last time.”

Pedroia is in the midst of his worst season at the plate, as the Sox second baseman is hitting .269/.338/.364 with just four home runs and is mired in an 0-for-17 slide over the last five games. Olney acknowledged that rival teams have noted that Pedroia’s long-term future in the league could be shortened due to his all-out mentality on the diamond.

“He’s like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera and players like that,” Olney said. “People with other teams love him and they want him to do well and when they see him play this year, they cringe and they’re concerned. Because they see a guy who goes out, plays hard every day, and they assume that he plays through injuries, and the other part of it is that they see someone who plays with maximum effort all the time and they worry about him wearing down. … Eventually, he may wear down faster than other guys because of those dynamics. … Nothing is going to come easy for him, and if he’s playing along those lines, this is what I’m hearing from rival evaluators, they think that he may have a shorter shelf life than other guys who may cut themselves a break and drift a little bit.”

While closer Koji Uehara remains a candidate to be dealt if the Red Sox struggle in the coming weeks, Olney said that he expects the reliever to remain with the team past the trade deadline.

“I don’t think he gets dealt before the deadline. You can’t be in the Red Sox’ position where you’re certainly not so far out that you have no hope. You’re close enough that you at least have some hope, especially given how well they’ve played. What kind of messages do you send to fans who bought tickets for the last two months and paid out their money. That would be a difficult thing for them to do, because obviously if you trade Koji, that’s a white flag, and that would be really, really tough to sell the fans.”

For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan
David Ross joined the show to talk a little bit about his foot injury, but mostly about some of the other guys on the team. He spoke about Jackie Bradley Jr's defense, Pedroia's leadership, and how well Christian Vasquez is playing.

[0:02:24] ... on novice sort of about a lot better than he had been Jonny Gomes coming up with big hits. I think it just I really -- Steve Rogers started and about a lot better I mean. ...
[0:04:08] ... give us some time to compete each with with with this group. David Ross for this right now here on 937 WER Red Sox catcher you just said David we were just talking about it not more than twenty minutes before he joined us about Dustin Pedroia trying to play for -- played through injury. I can you speak to us about how he's dealing with that and whether or not it's gonna get to the point where he passed do. Sit donning -- go to the bench as he plays. Yeah I think I think I think he's I think that they dusted one of those guys that it is hard to get -- out of lineup. I think we're a better team he helped us in some way to win a game on nightly basis that's why he's Dustin Pedroia. He whether he hits or doesn't hit whether he is is healthy -- not healthy. Brains and a candle to our team ...
[0:05:13] ... make you wanted to them. Most valuable teammate other -- team. There's Dustin Pedroia mean that what he brings -- mentally. Physically on a nightly basis the way he plays occasionally make her -- better is ...
[0:08:36] ... a good -- -- the best left handed pitchers in the game. David Ross for this year on WEEI David if you could this is for some of -- on our show since. AJ Pierzynski was like going here the other catcher in the locker room with him how did he handle himself -- in the locker ...

Matt Barnes logged 6 1/3 solid innings on Tuesday. (Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox)

Matt Barnes logged 6 1/3 solid innings on Tuesday. (Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox)

A brief look at the action in the Red Sox farm system on Tuesday:



Matt Barnes didn’t shy from the fact that his first half had been disappointing. Prior to his start on Tuesday, the right-hander took to Twitter for a public declaration of intent: “1st start of the second half. Time to turn it around and finish strong”

Barnes was anything but dominant on Tuesday, but given that he entered the All-Star break with a 4-7 record and 5.06 ERA, the 24-year-old appeared to be in need of a toehold for the stretch as much as anything. That he got, as Barnes tossed 6 1/3 innings in which he was charged with two runs (one in the sixth, one in the seventh after he’d left the game, after he sailed through five shutout innings to start the contest) on three hits (two doubles and an infield single) while walking three and striking two. The outing marked the third in 15 starts in which Barnes pitched more than six innings. Though his strike percentage (61 percent of his 102 pitches) was unspectacular, he commanded a 93-95 mph fastball to both sides of the plate and employed an 85-87 mph changeup liberally to garner weak contact throughout the start.

The 2011 first-rounder elicited just four swings and misses in the outing, and he’s averaging just 5.0 strikeouts per nine innings in his last eight starts. One interesting facet of those strikeout numbers: He’s struck out 20.1 percent of the left-handers he’s faced, compared to just 12.8 percent of right-handers.

That speaks in part to the effectiveness of his changeup against lefties, while also highlighting the long-noted absence of a consistent breaking ball to handle same-handed hitters. But, given what Barnes has done against lefties (.238/.332/.338 line, as opposed to a .338/.384/.484 line by righties), the raw materials of success may not be as far away as his first-half struggles might suggest.

– Feats of Mookie: Catalyzing. Mookie Betts had his second straight multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 with a triple, driving in three runs and scoring two.

Will Middlebrooks went 2-for-5, and he’s now reached base multiple times in four straight games, going 7-for-17 with a homer and walk during that stretch.



– Right-hander Luis Diaz continued his strikeout surge, punching out seven in seven innings while allowing three runs on five hits (including a pair of homers). The 22-year-old now has 29 strikeouts in his last four starts spanning 24 2/3 innings (10.9 per nine innings) after he accumulated just 6.1 strikeouts per nine in his first 16 starts of the year between High-A Salem (13 starts) and Double-A Portland.

He’s limited his opponents to three or fewer earned runs in all seven of his starts with Portland while averaging just over six innings an outing and limiting walks to 2.2 per nine innings, showing good command of a three-pitch mix (fastball, curveball, changeup) with a good understanding of how to employ the change to disrupt the timing of his opponents. On Tuesday, for instance, he worked primarily at 91-93 mph with his fastball, threw a changeup around 80-81 mph and featured a mid-70s curveball with 12-to-6 break. His stuff lacks a wow factor, but even the possibility of an average three-pitch mix and an understanding of how to use it could give him a path to being a big league starter.

Ryan Lavarnway, in his second rehab game with Portland, went 1-for-3 with an opposite-field homer and a walk while serving as DH.

– Catcher Blake Swihart went 2-for-5, his third multi-hit game in his last five contests. He’s hitting .296 with a .352 OBP and .485 slugging mark.



– Right-hander Pat Light dominated, allowing just two hits (both singles) while walking three (two after he returned to the mound for the seventh inning), striking out five and eliciting nine groundballs. The outing continued an upward trend for the 23-year-old, who has a 2.25 ERA in his last five starts — a stretch that includes one struggle (five runs in five innings) and four outings of no more than one run allowed in at least five innings. In that span, Light has trimmed his ERA from 7.01 to 5.33.

Carlos Asuaje, playing left field, went 2-for-4 with a homer, his first extra-base hit in four contests since a promotion from Greenville. The versatile 22-year-old now has 12 homers, 24 doubles and 10 triples on the year, a total of 46 extra-base hits on the season that ranks second in the Sox system to Salem teammate Jantzen Witte (50).

– Outfielder Aneury Tavarez went 1-for-3 with a double and two walks — his first multi-walk game since he was in Lowell in 2012. Over the last two years, the 22-year-old — who shows an intriguing ability to impact the ball when he makes contact — has a 4.2 percent walk rate between Greenville and Salem.




– Outfielder Bryan Hudson went 3-for-5 with a double, his first multi-hit game since July 2. Though he’s hitting just .208/.304/.267, the 19-year-old has a solid ratio of 14 walks to 19 strikeouts in his 115 plate appearances, with the possibility that added strength, in combination with his speed, could create the possibility of offensive improvement.

– Shortstop Mauricio Dubon went 2-for-4 for his second straight multi-hit game and his fourth in seven contests. He’s hitting .385 (10-for-26) with one walk and two strikeouts as well as one extra-base hit — and inside-the-park homer — during the recent hot streak.




– Center fielder Yoan Aybar continues to show the makings of a diverse skill set. The 17-year-old hit a rocket for a triple to right field, giving him six triples (tied for seventh in the league — teammate Luis Alexander Basabe is pacing the DSL with 11 three-baggers) and 15 extra-base hits on the year, good for a .302/.355/.468 line on the year. The left-handed hitter continues to do virtually all of his damage against righties — he’s hitting .327/.364/.525 against righties and .200/.323/.240 against southpaws.

Luis Alexander Basabe went 2-for-4 with a double, and the 17-year-old now has 18 extra-base hits on the year, tied for fifth in the DSL. The switch-hitter owns a .284/.408/.480 line in 40 games.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier