Farrell talks Sox

Red Sox manager John Farrell discussed several topics today at his annual State of the Winter Meetings address. Here is a sampling:

On the bullpen:   “”Well, first, I think having Koji in place to go back to a closer is a key part of the bullpen. He and Junichi’s presence back there are guys that have been good performers for us in high‑leverage situations. We still have some needs there. And that is yet to be addressed.     So I’m confident, and I think we’re all confident that the resources are here to bring in the best available guys.”

Will Burke Badenhop return? “He is a guy that we’ve had conversations about. And yet there’s a fairly large number of pitchers that are still available. As Burke is going to have options where he might go. He did a great job for us last year. We’re still addressing all those needs, starter and bullpen.”

How many starters do the Red Sox need? “We’ve looked at two spots in the rotation as being the need to fill. How those are filled remains to be seen, but that’s the approach right now.”

On where things stand with Cespedes: “We’ve talked about the potential position that he could find himself in from a defensive alignment. Center field and right field are both options for him. We know we have a deep and talented group of outfielders. And Ben has been on record and it’s been mentioned that the potential exists for one of those guys to be dealt. Who that is we don’t know. But we have the luxury of a deep lineup and a deep position player group right now and that includes a number about of outfielders.”

How is Pedroia? “He’s doing great. He really is. He’s able to swing the bat a little bit off the tee. Physically the strength and the range of motion continues to improve. And I think one of the more exciting things as we go into and begin to get closer to Spring Training is getting Pedroia back to 100 percent health and strength.”

How is Victorino? “The volume is going to be our guide on how he responds to that. Everything points to him being on the field and in full baseball activity whether camp starts up. There’s been frequent conversation with Vic and some video he will send himself and the workouts he’s going through. He’s in a good place physically and mentally right now.”

What does Victorino mean to the Red Sox? “When we look back to 2014, the first year that he was here, he did such a great job for us, he impacted the game in a number of ways each day he’s on the field. He’s a vocal leader, he leads by example. And we missed him when he was out of lineup.”

Plans for Mookie Betts? “Positionally we still see him as an outfielder. We’ve talked about a deep outfield group. But the one thing that’s been impressive of Mookie, when we look back in the three different times he came up, there was tangible improvements and adjustments he made with each return trip to the Big Leagues.  For a young player he’s got such a unique combination of on‑base ability and strike zone awareness. He’s a good‑looking player. And you kind of marvel at the aptitude he shows at an early age. And that’s an exciting thing.”

 Mookie at the top? “I think as we get through the remainder of this offseason we’ll have a clearer picture of that. And certainly once we assemble in Ft. Myers, those things will be worked through as we get there. But the work that Mookie did last year and how he profiles, there’s a strong candidate to be in the top part of the order.”

 Important to have steady leadoff hitter? “Ideally. I think we always strive to have continuity in the lineup. Guys that come into the ballpark they know when they’re going in the lineup each and every day, they have a general idea where they’re going to be within positions in the lineup. And I think that sits well with guys, just that common thought and understanding.”

Favorite for the leadoff spot? “I hink we’ve got all our in‑house candidates that are there. Mookie being the strongest at this point. But that’s not to anoint him the opening day leadoff guy.”

Allen Craig? “Like every other player, there’s routine checkups, whether that’s as Pat or others will travel out to witness their workouts and check in with them by phone. He’s having what would be considered a normal offseason, and that’s getting past the foot injury he went into. And we fully expect him to be back to full capacity.”


I realize there was a concern over the control issues of De La Rosa and Webster…this said, how can anybody argue that Miley, (91.1 mph FB, increase in walks, slider and FB were mainly thrown out of zone and 28 yo), is better than De La Rosa…(two fastballs over 95, a change up under Pedro’s guidance and control issue that will be solved when his off speed pitches are used with Confidence, or Webster, (also throwing close to 95 with a heavy ball that induces ground balls, good off speed, is only 24 and only had issue because of an elevated command of the zone), In my opinion, the Sox rotation could have had a ground ball pitcher which they traded for during the winter meetings three times and a Heat Thrower who is crafting a change that would prevent hitters from looking only for a two seam or four seam FB. Both these kids hive Boston a younger profile where both potentially will be better than Miley…besides adding a full point to Miley’s ERA is likely as he switches to the AL…Workman, Renaudo and Barnes can compete for the fifth hole with the remainder going to the pen. Lastly, I let Owens and Rodriquez pitch to start the season. So many teams keep a flux of young arms going to the rotation at 21 diue to budget. Tampa and Oakland have done a good job. Adding Ramirez,(a freaking SS) to play Left and a third baseman whose money could have helped Boston add Lester. I think Middlebrooks, (played injured in 14 and now healthy, has the potential to hit 25 HR with improved contact or Cecchini, (often compared to Boggs) could use all fields becoming a doubles threat. If Additions were needed to Bolster the line up than Cespedes should have stayed…better than Ramirez and Sandoval and is not injured like Ramirez. If the lefty bat was essential than why not Move Napoli and Cespedes for a Left Fielder or a first baseman that bat left side. Arizona seems willing to trade…why not push for Goldschmidt, recently traded Kemp or Hayes, perhaps go in a different direction all together…sign Cruz or Morales…maybe grab Donaldson. Both have power and would be.better suited in Boston. The additions seem silly. Only in this situation would Rodriquez be included and the Ace would need to be substantial…..besides JBJ can be used as a throw in to push Arizona over the top.

I don’t get the signings of Sandoval, Ramirez, Masterson and FA signings of Miley,and Porcello. I understand the control issues De La Rosa and Webster demonstrated in 14 but Ruby has two 95 plus FB with a Pedro tutored change at 24 and Webster possesses the same sinker ball that Ben added with his three pitching additions. Ruby and Allen would be fine and eventually keep the ball down and throw strikes. Ramirez in left is a joke and not attempting to see in Will can play now that his health is close to 100% and Cecchini who is compared to Boggs.

The additions I would have been aggressive to make happen are left handed hitting Goldschmict or grab Donaldson, Kemp or Hayes. Beane’s accepts Middlebrooks and Cecchini with Renaudo for Donaldson or Goldschmict for a similar package plus pitching. Will Garin, JBJ, Bryce, Margot, Merano, Shaw, Shane, Danielle, along with pitchers Reaudo, Ruby, Allen, Barnes, Workman with a close eye on Owens and Rodriquez to trade for an absolute stud left handed hitter.

Lastly, Ben and Brass should either follow their plan and not sign long term contracts in order to play AAA players ready to plat in Fenway or pay for the Lester’s, Scherzer Shields or any other top FA to fill holes. Their actions should be embarrassing… Ruby and Webster make the a Six better than Miley and the listed deserve their shot. What is the point of building a Farm only to block their access.

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