WEEI>On Demand>>John Farrell: Middlebrooks needed everyday at-bats, that's why he's in Pawtucket

John Farrell: Middlebrooks needed everyday at-bats, that's why he's in Pawtucket

Jun 26, 2013|

We check in with John Farrell for an online exclusive interview... bumped today because of the Hernandez arraignment, we checked in with John on Middlebrooks, Iglesias, instant replay, the bullpen woes, Clay Buchholz and more.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

-- salt -- WEEI WEEI dot com as well and of course data that -- park today. I offered early getaway day game for the Red Sox for clock game Rockies in for the last of two. Nice win for the Sox last night John Farrell joins us fresh from a what when he -- so last night. Felt like a ton of them were the other way is that part of the planners just work out you know Mike I think. Would we see our guys use the whole field stay inside some pitches and get some base it's the other way that's one more at our best this is the a group that. You know that they're gonna see a lot of pitchers they consume ball deep in the strikes on and I think base it's the other way our our product -- that. There were number -- you know we found some holes last night let's let's be honest and when days are going well you're gonna get some breaks but I think the same time. We squared up a number of bases their base hits you know that you look at Toni in attack in addition to five. Walks. Who we had a very good -- tonight. That it could have been better off of the night. You know look we know Major League Baseball umpires at times this year have struggled with replay. Public is Stephen Drew hit it was award he was awarded tripled look like a home run to me how much you mean even after the fact is that a home run. Well you know I look there's two things that come -- come quickly come to mind with that one when you see the trajectory the bounce after it hit and you wouldn't necessarily see a ball. You know bounce straight up in the air and then come back into the field of play without hitting something behind the wall but. It was clear the length of time that it took to review that play I don't think that there was a clear cut angle that the umpires had. You know replays and in place for for a reason and they did everything that they could to see different angles but whether that. The good definition of the video that they have at their disposal wasn't clear enough. But I think in the broadcast that seem like they blew up a couple of shots and it's show that it had a piece of plywood behind the ball right. So cameraman was pointing to it -- -- out -- well unfortunately he's not part of the umpire crew are so. You know. Again weathered it. Thankfully. In that situation it didn't have a direct impact and and bearing on the outcome of the game so. You know I know that replay is always in the minds of many in matters that continue to advance and become better more refined. But I do on this and talking the umpires. They have they only have what they have here in the ballpark in its about a sixteen inch monitor that they look at so. Their ability to blow it up to get real close up view is limited. So anyway that -- terrible or deal with but at least we have a system that's currently in place. To be used on now imagining the -- isn't like gold he black and white TV with the -- -- are your thoughts on the bottom and it's at a key -- on HD either hit that thing to make sure they can feel well enough yet tin foil would be the amount you -- as. Made the decision before the game yesterday descend down will middle Brooks. How do you balance. A -- like how do you balance the long term development needs. With current performance of what you needed the big league level the time well Mike the current. Performance put us in the position we're in you know woke him off strong rookie campaign last year with the even though -- five games played still. You can't deny the numbers and and what he put up the impact he can make in the baseball the skills that he has. The fact is that 2013 was a little more struggle -- things in -- as easy and then we got a young player Jose Iglesias. Who is you know collecting two to three hits a night competition does have a bearing on who plays and when when will found himself and we found with will on the bench you know five and six days. He's not at the stage of his career to be a bench player and we had to get everyday at bats that's why isn't hard to imagine I was an image of sophomore slumps at times or maybe just the league. Adjusting to -- player is that what is happening to middle -- does he need to make a specific adjustment back to believe well. Good question. You know the one thing is -- will swing probably isn't as consistent as the was. A year ago. And and the benefit of a player coming up in the middle of the year in his first season he's gotten in has been afforded to get on that role fundamentally. It's -- from a confidence standpoint prior to him coming to the big leagues that was the case last year. What first full season players Bahrain is getting on that role early in the season is much more challenging you're going up against better pitching every single night. So what they. Experienced the year before I coming up in the first year -- it's a complete different set of circumstances a much more difficult environment. And I think that's that's what the the sophomore situation of people referred to was about. -- John I'm sure we're gonna gamble later in the year Mohegan Sun we have it -- and passed on dinner. But I'm gonna gamble earlier than that and the gavel right now and say that Jose Iglesias will not be hitting over 400. In September I'm gonna take that gamble but something's happening. What is is it just. -- he figured it out is it something he is he looked at video and he he does he's seen the light on the what is. Well there's a couple of things to work here he came back in the spring training a very motivated player. In his mind. And this is the beauty of sports is the beauty of of how guys respond to certain challenges. He was very clear he didn't. Hit it the way he took discerning Stephen Drew he took it as a personal challenge. And that's -- -- Stephen Drew that's not him being an antagonistic towards your organization but he felt like he was a guy that was ready for the big leagues. Numbers might not a book borne that out or or prove that or or supported it. But the way he viewed himself one was a competent player that was ready to play in the big leagues. The organization felt differently. Signs Stephen Drew he came in. Got back to it a natural swing that was more aggressive inside the strikes are not looking to steer the ball around around the field and try to hit the ball the other way or or being an inside out type of -- So -- went back to a natural stroke. He got he got a break. Stephen had a concussion he gets off to a decent start here with us you know he was in -- whatever the first couple weeks -- -- -- -- and I think that further boosted his confidence. He went back down and he took it as a pro choice you know people -- you know. How to -- respond to when Steven came back he was professional he took it well. Now he did go down and -- felt that the timing was a big league player and I think something's got in his way but Garrity assertion that the great job with him and -- market. Sat him down for a couple of days to kind of -- that and the fact is he was into talking on the big leagues but he comes back here and he's using the same stroke. We've seen every at bat with a much more consistent approach where is not expand the strike -- so you combine that with confidence. A more natural swing that he's used that over the course of his own playing career. And we're seeing the benefits in the production from a had he been coached away from that natural swing I don't I don't think coach -- -- you know we have a very clear organizational. View of marketing style and we talked about it at the outset of this is that she pitches use the whole field. But sometimes as players are looking to make some adjustments. They can go. Too far with that and I think it's just a re centering for what Jose's going through right now is to get back. To that aggressive stroke but at the same time he's hitting pitches whether thrown inside the -- -- we've seen a number of balls that are driven into the right center field gap last night was another one. And gets a break them -- inside part of the plate he drives -- a double into the left center field gap so. He's doing an outstanding job bumble sizable force. Was it difficult to get them settled on on a consistent approach because we saw him at times last year last couple years. Where every time he came to the plate the batting stances a little different. -- he had a different game plan is seen every time he came to play. I think that's just a player understanding who he is what makes himself. The most consistent performer he is a little bit more operate in the stance. That was evident right from the first day of spring training and what it's allowed him to do see the ball better I think he got down deep in a crouch whose -- more bent over. And when your eyes are parallel to the ground it's gonna give you a different view of the flight of the baseball coming into the -- on and you know what that this is all Jose he's done an outstanding job of you know what realizing who he is as a player getting back to some of those natural abilities that have taken him or brought him to to the Red Sox in the -- -- traveled. And these events played out in front of him and in front of us each and every night with I mean he's getting two or three hits every single night and it's it's awesome to see. Red Sox manager John -- -- always brought you by our -- insurance town fair tire. And celebrity cruises let's turn to your your pitching staff where at least at the -- rotation. It's novel we were discussing in April Jon Lester at that time was it was perfect. Clay Buchholz at the time was perfect and in those two guys look like aces. Now one of them and you got to see Buchholz draw from mountain they wanna ask you about that. But first what what is going on with Jon -- spent six or seven starts now in a row or is not in the same way. Well one thing nor seen as a city two out situations have given him controls. You look at the number a number of runs allowed in those situations and and really you're got you started into an inning that is 20/20 five pages in length. And it's not physical -- stuff is still consistent with the way he was pitching in April may. And yet there's some missed located pitches deeper into that inning. That have allowed some of those crooked numbers to take place and it it whether it's elevated fastball that's a breaking ball it doesn't get to the right spot so. Do the sit down conversations in the exercise that we go through John. So when you get into those situations where the inning is unraveling. There needs to be the ability to step back regroup. Understand where you are an and that might be pitching around a guy to manage a line up in certain way or that has to make sure that we're not rushing into a situation. The other day that is the prime example as we get two outs. You know Pena the description catcher for Detroit gets a base hit he gets Jackson out to make it through the second out of the inning. Torii hunter's the next next hitter -- -- 02 count I thought he kind of rushed through the situation to try to get over with the out in the inning. He gives up and go to base hit in the first pitch changeup to Cabrera is a three run homer. It's not the home run to Cabrera. That guy's gonna get his hits it's what leads up to that situation that I felt like there was. A rush job to get through the inning rather than taking the same. Pitch to pitch approach to shut the inning off and put zero from a -- And just continuing the -- of of guys who were struggling a bit what's your breakdown of Andrew Miller. And Andrew Bailey was what was in the big issue with those guys. Well what would Bailey -- see you know the one thing that we're still trying to to get back Tuesday. Is the life to his fastball threw strikes on and that's a physical thing he went on the disabled list. -- it and missed the two weeks with this when -- come back. Who we haven't seen the same power particularly with his trademark pitch and that's a fastball up in the strike zone. In I think the fact is that the hitters went in looking for something up out over the plate. And they didn't necessarily have to respect -- breaking ball for strikes so there's two things. Trying to get him down the strike zone with more fastball location and more importantly get a break from all over for strikes. Just to -- some hitters down and not them going in looking for one pitch and just. Turn it loose and really not even offered a breaking ball we've seen that a few times and and that's the point of emphasis that we're we're going through Bailey right now. We can't control when that life in the fast bowl return he's not hurt he doesn't complain of any sort of send me any restrictions from a physical standpoint so. That's the area there Miller on the other hand what we've seen. Outings of dominance where it's been right and the left and it doesn't matter. And he's still going to be a very. Little guy late in the game for us because not only can he match up but he's got to believe -- from right handers out with the the fastball slider combination. In. You know guys are gonna ebb and flow a little bit with their performance put it in Bailey's case particularly. When when we've got to a state of flux with a closer it changed the roles of everybody leading up to that and where you -- has been so dominant in that seventh and eighth inning depending on the matchups. We now remove him as our closer and put him in the back in the and so it's gonna him. Provide an opportunity for other guys to step up and really bridged the gap to your -- closing games out. You know Mike and I had a discussion a few weeks ago about the things in sports that they drive you crazy as a sports -- And and we had a number of options went out with a holding penalty in football war. As you know third and short you can kick it off the field. Another one is walking the bases loaded and I'm wondering for you as a sports fan big sports fan and as a manager. If it's being up -- Q for the pitcher. And then as as Miller did the other day he's -- it to hit the guy brings in a run. That's got to be one of the things you can get I need to go into -- dugout for a little bit and -- -- go to the clubhouse. And away from the cameras then I'll come back. Well here you take it out of -- sixteen inch monitor isn't the right okay who cares who thinks -- -- your pitchers are gonna give a basis totaled two and 02 counts. What what you probably holding a little bit more is how hard is a ball. That's to me that the whole keep his ball -- up to vote to count -- and you know what we've probably really an error. Drastically with the location pitch. You know I know the other day they're trying to you go down and in on the pro also with a note to count bases loaded were up around at any Nixon in the -- And it's. He noted that the thing that you see it in the moment you're looking for the kill shot in that spot. But when you take a step back and realize that okay in the key moment you. In a note to count you've got four opportunities to retire that guy and it doesn't necessarily always have to happen now. There there's there's there's a reason why they call a certain that your purpose pitch it sets up the next one -- changing eye level change in the the view to the hitter. In advance of the public -- and experts. That's where the second guessing really comes into play in the case like that. Or. The frustration can really now when you've got to hitter that is down and you've got sole advantage form and you let them back into a situation by making a mistake when you look a year. Open more as a whole. You start off the year you lose Joel Hanrahan Andrew Bailey goes out for awhile and right now you -- kind of struggling doesn't have the same life on the fastball. Pat to continue to use to -- when you are over and over again it sort of wait for some other guys it would appear to prove themselves and higher leverage situations. How do you balance that how concerned are you about their usage. Well in both cases anytime we have multiple runs like last night to we were fortunate to it to get a little bit of a spread and stay away from -- -- -- and protect -- with you -- we've we've got to be cautious and careful with. Frequent use because of the stage in his career. And the willingness to pick up the policy get him going because she's been so good force as has. I Junichi. Puts it -- the one thing that thing you know it really shines through is that the need for that closer to be a constant. 88 dependable guy back there really shines -- because all of a sudden now we're we're on our fourth closing of the year. And it does change roles for guys and part of that group down there particularly from the seventh inning on. The meant to lead up to that and they understanding where their time in the game is coming and they think along with us in the dugout they prepare accordingly. They know when their time is coming in in when that is change everyone goes through a little bit of a shift. It might be for the you know the casual fan might say well you're -- just go pitch that. When called upon and some people take that view but I think it's very important like I tend to be able to think along with -- and prepare best he can both mentally and physically. All right time now John for Mohegan son's dinner with John -- contest today's question for the manager comes from Ken grace he's from New Bedford. He wants to know and that's going to be tough for him. Who has been your most quotable slash teachable players this season guess they all had to pick one. Cultural slash. You know. And I don't wanted to ride the wave here but when you see what Jose Iglesias has done he's transferred positions to go to their base a position is never played in his life. -- always been shortstop but to see him make that transition work that he's done with Brian Butterfield defensively. But the questions he asks. Not only of the coaching staff but of his teammates. There's been a genuine. Lack of better term a genuine engagement on his part -- now we go through crash course but realize that he's played a pivotal position force. Defensively. And then what he's done on the offensive side he's taken all the suggestions and sometimes they're not the easiest -- to give them because you confront some things with the player. In Jose has been very receptive and more importantly the way he's responded. It's been great for all of -- to -- before I let you go real quick and you -- buckled the road today off a mound what did you see from them how soon could we see him well. We'll get a better read on and how it feels after the bullpen but -- having seen in the balls -- and -- -- felt -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- at a -- before -- get him -- -- what it's going to be a rehab start at some point hopefully in the near future here. But I think the most encouraging thing he's gone from long tossed a flat ground -- not getting on the mound. Re read or incorporating the angle mound which is gonna add some different stressed to the shoulder and the other areas. Of the body so today -- -- today was just a very good step in the right direction so hopefully we've got some -- more clear cut plan with his. Returning to us here later today are an afternoon Red Sox game today that John Carroll brought you by our belly insurance town fair tire and celebrity cruises thanks so much Josh we appreciate it OK guys talk and actually.

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