WEEI>On Demand>>Minor Details Ep. 70: Red Sox GM Ben Cherington on the state of the system

Minor Details Ep. 70: Red Sox GM Ben Cherington on the state of the system

Sep 23, 2013|

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington takes stock of both the nature of the farm system's contributions in 2013 and the role he envisions prospects playing in the construction of the roster going forward.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

As the season winds down it seems appropriate time to take a look both back at the season that was in Ford. To the season that will be in 24 to do that this week. We're joined by Red Sox general manager Ben Carrington. This is an interesting time both in terms of this stage of the season and in the life of the Red Sox organization. George and discussed his desire to build the next great Red Sox team in -- signs that he's moving your organization in that direction. But by no means is is efforts do so complete. This -- -- glimpses of important future pieces of the organization. Whether it was somewhat like Jackie Bradley junior at the start of the here. Zander Bogart at the end or Brandon Workman in the middle and through the end of the season. But there weren't any players who took root as fixtures in the big leagues with significant every day or starter roles going forward. That time may not be far off but it's worth noting that the turnaround of the Sox this season was fueled primarily by free agents rather than by prospects. So what is the time for prospects. That is certainly getting closer and closer a topic that hearing to discuss in an interview last week. You've often referred to 20072008. As being the best Red Sox teams that you've been apart -- because of where that -- was an assistant at that time. And this year. Depth has been striking I think that you know John has talked about that repeatedly is being. The foundation of your success this year how much is that a reflection of the minor league system and how much do you envision that you know or or do you still see yourself and being along the road to go to the point of homemade -- Yet I think it's a little bit of both. They were start. Young younger players that have been in the system that we. The thinking for some time would be. Eventually our depth and actually our team. Search officers says -- game. You know. Prospects this make believe. It became more those guys. Rule and so meaningful and so that's the first step is to come often and be part of the depth -- season the next step is to be. A more integrated -- team and expect that -- happen more time. But it's. Relative position of strength Indians he. To you know call. Up not just the role. -- it always happens here. But to start you think about some of them as possible write features. For whether it's next year thereafter. And we know that we need we need that to happen. To have a chance you'd hear -- proud it's just. One. Here it was it was interesting to see the way in which you you approached sum that up because for instance. You know you have to equip their choice of going with someone like Jose Iglesias. Government in the offseason and you said let's let's build a surface layer on top of that let's sign Stephen Drew. During the season you had Brandon Workman who made three spectacular starts. And you said you know let's let's acquire Jake Peavy work and can help -- and of course but -- -- -- -- for the protection. Why to what degree you know to what degree is that just an operational philosophy let's give. You know let's give our prospects that extra layer of protection rather than. You know rather then allowing our fortunes to kind of ride on on there. Somewhat unpredictable performances. So yes so did there there are some occasions where we. Have made a decision justice. You know. Fully commit to. Or less true than. Young players and meaningful. That hasn't happened a lot over the years that that happens sometimes. More often. And it no matter the caliber of the young player more often what we try to do is build them. Some some protection. Bill as much depth as possible and -- that the young -- take over and hopefully. -- happen. Answered some natural causes. Over time and and that that's at times has been an effective. Way to do it too so. You know I think. In order in a place like obviously miniature he did here every year are currently together here indeed we are a better chance yet to do that better chance -- get through season. A young players a critical part of that but if we can have a it good solid experience. Experienced player. Witty with a young player that we believe them. And we have a better chance to have to find a solution that we had -- one of them so that's optimal and then at some point in order to. You know they're so loud -- -- recovering in the -- to -- team you have to -- an -- opportunity. Or you have to give them a spot irritation to even if world open. And you know often that this happens. Sort of naturally and organically. And I would expect that that would continue to be. Preferable course. But it doesn't always. Have some time as a reality is -- off of that sometimes. You know for one way or -- -- sometimes just have to. You have to athletic kid sink or swim and it's up to us trying to find. Make sure you were asking the right -- and there's women and we support them this weekend if there's some. Transition period. Talking to Red Sox Jim venture -- and so for instances you know obviously your focus right now some iteration of 2013 -- -- -- -- because. -- there's a lot that still in front of you guys but. Nonetheless it's you know if you're in September of 2013 and you have the opportunity to expand rosters see guys like. See guys who might be in that in that question mark -- cinder Bogart's in Jackie Bradley junior come obviously to mind. How do you use this period if at all to make to reflect on. The valuations of their big week readiness for next year and you know arguing subscriber as a caveat to that question are used to start the idea that September's kind of crummy time to make evaluations. It is tough to evaluate and it's. If they're not playing much it's more about them it's more about. And opportunities for them to be around. Did very good Major League players trying to win very meaningful games. And being around and seeing watching lots of preparation goes into the adjustments that are made on the bench during a game the intensity of the of the games every pitch etc. That's that's important that's valuable. For any player particularly young player. To be part of and then when they are in the games share mean. There there -- against us we're trying to win games and John feels like they're getting this chance to win and and it's part of the valuation but. What they've done over the course. A longer period of time in the minor leagues. Is always going to be more of them. If it happens in the single most. Is that true even of a case so you know there are adjustment difficulties that you expect but you know say that there is. Kind of like he scouting you know starting level you know and it's been much discussed for instance with Jackie. Early in the season -- all kind of in on the hands right under the hands having beaten them for that stretch. When you see. Are are you able to when you see when you see kind of starting a whole emerge are you able to look beyond that and say. We have enough experience to believe that this guy is capable of adjusting or do you need to see him Justin at some level whether it's -- player in the majors. In order to be able to commit to him as a kind of you know as a kind of significant. Part of the roster going. Well often you know a big part of the adjustment is you know actually. You at this level and living in in. And he getting beat a little bit. And Larry you know figure out how to make -- -- just -- in the abstract to fear and AAA and not being channeled in the same way error even if you if there's an area. You know players trying to work on us if they're not being forced to work. They can be harder so I think there's you know we think there's value to. Just being here and playing. And having to work on those things while they're playing that role. And you know it's. It can be. It can be surprising. To those of us who. Our talent occasionally players are. To see how quickly those adjustments are made it. Wants once again has that chance to sort of think about it play players to think about it and who knows you know you show next spring training. They may look very very difference you know we've had. Obviously Dustin Pedroia has long been one of our best players will continue to all of our best list for a long time when. Even he had an adjustment period that initially level it didn't. Change your opinion of him when he is gone through that so. It doesn't change the the long term -- it just sort of makes -- any adjustments that are necessary more acute and the urgency for the player to figure that out becomes. Becomes more important. Talking -- Red -- Jim venture into and you mentioned that you aren't quite where you intend to be in terms of kind of graduating guys into those little girls are close to do you are. Just given where. You know given what the caliber prospect was this hearing. In triple -- and double play in. You know kind of eye opening performances across the board which usually it doesn't really happen development works. -- were guys who dominate you know you're out kind of a phalanx of people we just moved upward in dominance in the lower -- me to being dominant in the upper -- We really -- years in development and it's. Those are some of that attitudes does that things happen this year but as you know a lot of that goes back a number of years to. It's it's this those those. Work at scouting department both domestic side and national side. Been doing for several years and a lot of players there's percolating up to the top of the system organized. Still an assistant to three associates and his fellow levels and and and working the case in the game and play well this. So when things come together. The weighted at this hearing it's important step back and and you answer remember that. Well it's it's not that the work to start this year notes on for a long time -- this is happening because something someone did four years -- That said you know weren't you know we're we're fortunate in the group young players that -- that is gaining the upper levels of the miners some of you know it was club already. A chance to see -- contributors for us. Exactly. What those rules are and what time. The they take hold is to be determined stolen at a place like Boston -- it's not going to be. Into yes you know it's going to be more likely gradual. It's it's -- but gradual but let's. Gradual but that. But absolutely it's gonna. There's gonna be there will be a commitment to. Making sure that we can agree on players in this and we know that we have to do that. Against -- kid. For a longer period incessantly here. Is there's some question you know I think given the importance attached to middle of the diamond players. Are you a subscriber to -- to perhaps it's important to kind of I -- those onto the roster you know centerpiece middle of the diamond regulars rather than. Being you know rather than committing to an idea. Having a bunch of them come up at once. That's it you know that's a fair question. You see. You see parts of the team. Were. -- successful teams. Less. Less likely to have search. Job shares at certain positions and maybe his reason for that most tend to be militant positions. So we'll you know we'll see -- -- -- all sorts of play we think. Player has to prove that he's ready physically mentally fundamentally. He has to prevent a minor leagues. Yes -- in some way. -- -- whether it's here September -- training -- whatever. And also we have to take. We have to do on the to make a commitment to that and and live through the you know the inevitable growing pains young players don't -- doesn't there -- other than the rare exception. Is it does not come together -- -- answers. As a transition at the big league level we have to commit to that sixer. And so because of that it's less likely do that was. Twelve spots on the Austro wants more likely due to fewer number. And that that gets into the balance that will play. Now look for between. In how we put the roster together in the -- ago. Talking their attacks gym bench Harrington given your familiarity you know your longstanding history working on the player development side you know -- scouting side. How mind blowing -- to see someone like Zander -- moving this quickly embassy and having just kind of I mean leapfrogged across levels is that when -- -- It's it's impressive and he's. He's from the time that you signed even before that we're following -- an amateur player remembered Craig should lose -- international scouting it's. The way he talked about it such. And instinctual hater. Great kid. Instinctual player and just in central baseball player despite the fact he drove up alienated. Built relative to other places in Latin American wasn't really baseball hotbed. He just played the game was such season. Instincts and particularly offensively and then. And then thanks to you know credit to him to -- he's worked so so hard on the defense and others -- -- where those become strengths is so. You know it's it's it's it's not common to have. A young -- this age you know in the big league government released the starting games playoff chase but at same time it's credits and he's and he's a mature player obviously physically gifted. But also used to that your young man who understands. You know what he's all about understands two -- all about it and then also knows that he saw us installer and the student in every community as Brian Butterfield and John McDonald -- Stephen Drew he's around. To be sensitive to use this time would be to get that much better and advances game so now we're proud of them and you know. You know that's the story is only starting these. A lot of things in his career. First GM obviously you know the strengths and weaknesses of the system are are hugely important it's going to roster planning going forward. Where right now based on what you've seen in 2013 do you see the strengths and depths of the system. And out of those compare to where you sought a year ago. -- group of movement of young young pitchers that the upper levels and some of them that they aren't the big league level now. Through AAA and and -- and double. It's a group of young pitchers to. We still have the chance to impact -- junior's comments probably a strong group. Lisa -- -- all at the upper levels. We've had in quite some time and we know pitching. You know. It's it's it's it's an area where -- acres and is obviously knows the risk of injury and things like. But. You know -- more good. Arms we have guys that can start. You know -- likely actually in and helping and so. Or -- or the strongest in there and never never use you wanna be well it's always work to do good. We think we had a chance. To integrates me pitching on his staff over the course of the next year two years you know. Twelve point four months whatever. They can help us and it's always going to be ballots were rousing need. -- very good strong. Veteran leadership on the pitching staff. Authority position. It's a little help from that group. And then. You know you trading Iglesias is still feel shortstop to strength. -- on the system. You know we've got. That's. Got some of the middle players and athletic players short second center field that. We think it. I'm going to be -- -- players and and so we need more time. You know we probably. We probably don't as is. As much as the corner bat. You know posting a profile that types that. We've had in the past. We got some guys we think can help it. May -- an area that we don't have as much. Overall were you know we feel very good about the system and they're satisfied them. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- That's question how different is it looking at the farm system disturbing from my vantage point I mentioned that at times last year that was kind of the that was the reprieve from some of the difficulties of the date today merit given the Major League struggles and you had this group of prospects of lower levels look -- good. Is it you know it's been as I -- a very successfully here in the farm system but. Have you found yourself and your happiness on a daily basis somewhat less dependent upon that. Well let's notes the group we have the major leagues this is it's a lot of fun and be watch the way they prepare and play in. It's. Fun to watch and you'll continue to be -- -- to -- -- well last. But you know for someone. That's. -- those attachments what's on those -- and so whether it's you know the drafters. Miami's here you know. Jobs later just. Five players who have never. It is it's. The most interest and that the -- it is so important overdoing it. To use those areas that Orton and enjoyed so much so. It's still part of the morning routine -- -- We -- reports through the minor league records and you know I don't really know how to start the day without doing. So and this year. Has been a lot of good things in the game reports it's been it's been fun. Thanks to Red Sox general manager bench Harrington again for joining down on the farm sponsored by the one advantage tire and service dealers find -- you -- near you -- -- one advantage dot com. And thanks also to my producers Saturday and bill yet to tally. If you'd like to hear the complete interview with Harrington. -- here any of the past weeks of this show check out the minor details podcast at WEI dot com slash podcast. Next Saturday will finish up the season with a special opposite of down on the farm. We'll be joined next week -- Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett who take the questions that you pass along to me so get your questions by shooting -- -- -- -- -- At WUPI dot com or by hitting me on Twitter at Alex beer look forward to catching up with you for that season -- next week.

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