WEEI>On Demand>>Bradford Files Podcast: Rob Bradford, Alex Speier talk worst-case scenarios for Red Sox

Bradford Files Podcast: Rob Bradford, Alex Speier talk worst-case scenarios for Red Sox

Feb 3, 2014|

WEEI.com's Rob Bradford and Alex Speier breakdown where the Red Sox might turn if any of their starting position players take a turn for the worse heading into Opening Day. Names like Dan Butler, Travis Shaw, Brock Holt and Bryce Brentz are surfaced.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

He needs to move with the -- -- -- -- right now -- of the year they don't. Welcome to another edition of the Bradford files. Sponsored as always -- schools distinctive clothing where I am going to stop on by. Every day to get ready for spring training which is only a few days away and -- that -- there's no better person to have on this podcast right now. That my colleague my friend Alex -- -- about Margaret and after I would think it would be better -- that is a completely separate podcast where we'd -- talking about the the off the fighter where all reporters. Throughout the months of spring training which I thought I scenario under yeah big guy actually would be pretty good podcast -- you. I would be. In. The U. Out -- it before we dive into the subject which -- subject today with Alex is going to be. -- theme which is what if things go terribly awry. Otherwise noted extreme. Go. Out at you it's like a guy. That this. -- he could because sky is falling podcast or. If the bleep hits the fan podcast. By -- why. Aren't merely -- you know while. If so so what it what it all. Means is that if the played a even the play and -- does not worked out at the Red Sox dormant opening day. Where did they turn that's what we're gonna get to by do all the -- of the clothing conversation. I couldn't let that slide by without reminding. Everybody before right. Linked up with Marbury Lester Gould. I was the guy to sprint -- ago. Just before TV appearance -- big run down -- yes to buy a shirt to Wear on TV. Are you. Yes. Believe me they are not selling those flammable shirts that CBS -- me that day -- -- distinctive clothing. Anyway so let's get right to doubts. We're gonna talk about. They that you are called depth I'm gonna call it if things go terribly awry. The starter at first base sort of dollar deal with position players because if we general pitchers would be -- all day loss would every going to be listen to it. So opposition players starting at first base. Here's a scenario. Mike Napoli something happens it's hurt. He's not ready for opening day something happens things go terribly awry. What do they turn what do they do not talking about. This is say the jumping off point is. A couple months you have to fill the gap for at least a couple months. Where they -- what what is a solution in your mind. To leave the likely outcome there. You end up having -- slash now at first base. We're with Jonny Gomes obviously in the mix. In not in left -- be interesting question to me is whether or not. They would they're also going to explore this spring. Having -- little books skated ground balls. At first base because that would open up a lot of different avenues to them. It fighters you or care much Kimi. Gained attitude that position. Right now of course Patrick -- the hard way. Is going to be taking some some ground balls at first phase of the course of the spring but really have no idea how that experiment it's going to go. He hasn't played a positions and playing the outfield college so. You know to be beyond now -- the hardware and the depth option. But I still think they're practically covered by a virtual. The guys we already mentioned. Yeah I threw in the -- hurt terribly if things go terribly -- scenario first base I think they do have built in solutions they have as he said Nava. -- you of car. And then he who knows him maybe -- Farley takes -- he's gonna be on upcoming Bradford files podcast in the coming days. Tom. And the issue as you said you if they sign Stephen Drew that you go maybe middle Brooks gets some time there bouts before we move on the next position. Those names aside. Is there anybody in this system right now that you could say hey. They could offer some sort of solution. Or is it the same case that we talked about last year which is first base in this organization is just not a real deep position in the minors. Well it's certainly not a deep position in the minors that's why they signed you know guy like Brad Snyder back to. To give them some corner infield depth and so I'll do it last year. -- third baseman at first base. He's he had been playing primarily first -- In particular last year before going over to third but it's basically. -- it otherwise. You know there's a reason why -- boggling being explored. At first base and that's because if you don't really have an in house solution at first base really you know the next guys you're talking about there. Kind of wild cards. I think it like. It up. Back in the Red Sox system and don't stick with the Orioles. In which case conceivably could or resentment that option trap shot someone who's going to be in big league camp. But it. I think if you really need a full year in triple a after struggling double and even though it's -- very well in the Arizona Fall League. And you're really kind of moving much further about the change. When you're looking -- beyond shop potential first baseman. I don't view I think it or looking at the position changed. -- -- -- -- -- -- My guess is that you know is that there are they're most like it's solutions are drawn from the major. This is. -- moving on second base things go terribly awry Dustin Pedroia. Has some sort of incident accident. Ailment. What is the solution there because I think this is a tricky one and this is one that really we saw a few years ago. It was it was a tough but -- overcome. Yeah I think that what thing that we have never seen has brought all I ever. Happen. And it happened will be remembered at second -- with Pittsburgh at the end of the 2012 season and it was pretty get Lisa is a forty man. Or old -- already on the forty man so Johnson but I think he's viewed most. And that the versatile utility back up guy my guess is it is -- in the immediate. Future. -- would present the primary. Line that defense. But if there's a real possibility that we keep that. You know period just as the kind of exciting skill set. Did it allow him to. Assert himself by the second half -- -- but do you think you're right that is that your position but all of does that follow up -- pretty early exit. I would like -- going from Dustin Pedroia two relatively unproven guys were minors. Well we're gonna move walk from second base and go to shortstop -- disorder is a little unclear right now because as we sit here we do don't do not know what's gonna happen Stephen Drew. Situation to Stephen Drew comes back in -- very deep at the position. Obviously with Bogart's there -- you arguments and some the other names Herrera. -- -- to say Stephen Drew does not come back you're sitting there whiz in her Bogart's in perera. I guess we know those two guys after that where we got beaten in the system. I guess other than a hole. Yeah that's this again dipped to area public. I think it in the not too distant future you're talking about a guy like eight -- Being able to much has stepped in at that position may be good by. The latter part of the year and provide you at least with steady defense. Which is something clearly they value very highly. But beyond that you know you're talking about. You're talking about -- -- stopgap. The likes of our career era and say as a fill in shortstop couldn't give up that's not -- -- Robert -- option. Oracle for that matter again. His is ideal position is probably second base so. Not ideal. Gaps so that that's a position. It is they do not re signed through they would have some vulnerability. You know we will work to third base in him that links up with shortstop a little bit because. You if you do have a problem at third base you can make your choice in regards to Bogart's what do you want prioritize you wanna leave me short. You wanna move -- a third this assumed that middle Brooks is there. And something happens to middle Brooks. And do you move Bogart's overlord you go to the next I'll run down with might be -- could she be. There at the position where they were a couple years ago where you have to go out again at the eighty Valencia which. -- once he wasn't even considered when he wise last year certainly. But. But this seems like a position of all the positions we talked about with the exception may be first base. This is a position where they have some flexibility. And and how that at least some capability to to keep the production level at a certain level which. As we saw last year they didn't because yet deterrent do -- -- Holtz and Snyder which were okay for a while -- Only Jose Iglesias yes that's right sorry. After it really opened in -- Did I do I keep doing that don't rightly. Do I do that are I can't go DJ BDJ -- through. The it's it's I have a cold so -- are all I hit three free passes of this podcast. But. But you know -- -- -- OK when it when they had to -- turn to the hole in the Snyder. There wasn't active TV in there is a very real possibility. Dot maybe in an ideal world to you still wanna get him some some seasoning. It at the triple A level but they at least have that option close of the Major League correct. Yet checking me right now is basically where where Jackie Bradley junior was entering spring training. In 2013. News that it can't -- -- -- and I led all finally based on on base percentage. With a 440 trio BP so even though that was achieved that high in double way he showed enough in -- -- of approach. And in terms of just having like a very simple fluid swing he's not searching for power and but he's you know he's really a really disciplined hitter you would feel okay about should keep putting up. Competitive at bats you'd be a little bit worried about the defense because. That remains you know that -- a work in progress for him -- that's something that that would certainly be an option it is worth noting that Trevor shot. Has played -- are both corners so. You know don't dismiss him completely is reporting some measure of insurance even though you'd like to unions up the year. In. You'd be in double play good but that that would be in triple play I anticipate to start the 2000. To start the 2014 season and yes so I think that you know with. With the likes of a little Brooks and -- in -- insider. You're okay. If you don't feel like he's ready and you outsider. In bringing him back up because you know -- they felt they -- Clearly good enough about him that they re sign them and they resent him pretty early priority. I know that you hate to deal hypotheticals but -- this optical course of the podcast. -- I am going to throw at you ate a big gold -- and and that is our first hypothetical situation it's a good one. I think. Which is a will little Brooks. Either gets hurt or has a terrible terrible spring training. Which I know it's that's probably not to push him out of assuming this -- doesn't sign. And so you have something go terribly 00 a ride with the will middle Brooks can -- has ice I Jackie Bradley spring training. What happens. I think it basically -- little -- they see as fathered a ride out the right or even a little bit to see its side when the lights go on. He responds and if he doesn't it and you know -- any sustained has performed against upper levels pitching and remember. You know Garrett should he needs -- what the last. Three months of last year the last you know two plus months of last year in double that's. So no expert -- even though you know of the events apart suggests there should be a relatively. Very each -- should be considerable amount substitute but -- little Brooks gets injured. And I think you know back into -- -- play. Is made -- simply struggles through spring training. I think that they still ride it out and and see what happens. To start the year before they make. You know try to get -- he needs some reps and the guy in in the minors before they gave it back fairly drastic decision to you to consider sending middle expect. Number can value of the second straight hypothetically you thought I was gonna ease into the next hypothetical about coming right back out. Barbara Bradford -- -- that's right it misses this is a vicious one which shares have been -- jump right to the outfield. Jackie Jackie Bradley Jackie Bradley reverses course from his traditional. Spring training excellence. And implicit there was no better spring try to let Eric the Jackie Bradley last year. There may be aired it out about it yes Cesar Crespo. Ha. That's what is by default spring -- performance. Well Chris Carter Chris Carter Chris Carroll what -- -- notice though he was showing up by diving for it visible. Balls in the outfield at 4 o'clock in the morning. Well I mean you are just amazing like the worst place -- of the worst teams all spring training. Evidently technique deal which is now -- of the Pirates because they're a jetstream replied I've heard about 3000 miles an hour. In -- the ball in the -- it's probably going to go out the Red Sox -- time what a team like seventeen and a seventeen to fifteen against acquired him and I just remembered that you wait in the club has struggled you'll find. At the end of the games get to guys report on the bus. But I just remember like that right firework Chris Carter was station for the final inning. Back game you to. So into -- out like this I think it was it was kind of unprecedented emotion for. In the -- he deals Richard. I admired that. Why is he -- that -- we can reach him we can joke about it the intensity and everything yeah. -- but we can't forget that this is what you want from a guy like that we went the -- and Cris Carter says. What what is your goal for this year is to win -- VP the American League. Crown Triple Crown yeah that's right wasn't MVP was Triple Crown right. Yeah I mean yeah if you get the Triple Crown you know it was a two -- -- -- -- yeah. Yet -- you admire that that drive that impish. So Jackie Bradley wasn't making up predictions of triple crowns or BP has had a he's a monstrous spring training last year which carried the news cycle for about. A month. And so this to say it reverses course and Jackie Bradley who right now is -- lady is -- starting center field spot. What happens there now what you're left with is probably moving Shane Victorino -- senator. And and you're gonna probably have that now vote Gomes combination you also have car. -- Is is the gas that if for Brett price Brent steps up. He enters the -- now this again. This is saying -- Jackie Bradley has really desperate treading and they say we want him to have more time in the minor leagues and -- has an enormous spring training is out -- well. -- -- I went to them. Perhaps and has the -- of -- more Major League ready opposite approach. -- still probably needs more seasoning. It's possible that he could you know I think it would. There will be a lot of things a lot of doors struggle and a lot of there -- there would be a considerable opportunity presented to a number of guys Bradley's struggles -- And it's worth noting that I had a conversation with the insurance in towards the end of last season for for one of the final opposite -- down on the farm. And. Which will be back will be back starting what date. But you're 23 there you know look at the clock is -- yes autumn but it but -- -- -- conversation -- -- -- -- -- about. About their current decision making process that goes into that you. I think goes into you when you turn over the -- to a young player and he said Favre at some point. They have to prove. That they've got us where that's what you said -- races this year on the hot stove show. Well that's a great point circuit city's he's consistent and -- you undermined the value might show thanks rob. But it don't buy it I just valued he says that first of -- show. You have practice he delivered about the morality of you it was totally don't if you or on that where you want when he was on the can't remember. Yeah so why are you Japanese say yes as you told me on down on the far earlier. Last season I am very much it but yeah. So they wanna see. And I proved that he has earned that right you know it's important or nurture that tourist prospective teammates now you know I saw it I do think if there's. Importance. To Bradley proving you know group and not having a bad spring training instead. Underscored his ability steps advocates say look you know he proves -- he can be great spring training at all ready. You're working on more important things or what have you. And I have a hard time believing it's someone with a great just projected as a junior waited. Kind of sell out his approach in the spring. But you know wealthy but you -- beat LB -- really felt on for. All this other scenario -- price who brought up before but it's it's hypothetical situation number three. Which is Jackie Bradley has a really really bad spring training in Grady Sizemore actually looks healthy. So. Do you -- do you takes -- there and there is I think. A prevailing thought even though they say we're gonna give Grady Sizemore every opportunity to win a job -- playing time to make the opening day roster. They still kinda have that at their back pocket. In the sense of -- where we could still easy win. Start the season in the minor -- and rehabbing whatever. But if Grady Sizemore really shows a lot shows that he's healthy -- -- healthy. And they don't wanna throw they're gonna throw caution to the win do you think fits there is a possibility again. If rally takes a turn for the -- approach which I think we both agree. Probably won't happen to that extreme of what if he does do you think they still say hey you know what Sizemore. Has shown us enough. Bradley you can get more seasoning we have our fail safe Grady -- Yes if they are convinced that Grady Sizemore can be healthy and productive. Then yes he's the right decision for them is probably. -- just start of the year Jackie Bradley junior. You know it's if Bradley has struggled since -- let him work out that struggled mightily spoke to come up with a base I have confidence. Okay so here here's the the opposite of if things go terribly awry if things go. Better than they could have ever expected you know magic. Here they're radical. If John -- waves his. World Series magic want. And and everyone is performing admirably that's. That's Jackie Bradley that's Grady Sizemore is shoddy go -- Shane Victorino. -- -- -- Is Mike car if all of this is going well it's Mike Carp on the Tebow and opening day. My guess is that if everything goes well then they might kind of to -- -- way too. To having someone on the disabled list to start the year. Of all that that's not the scenario Alex. That's not the magic once scenario I said if it is that the magic -- to -- -- magic water has eliminated all injury concerns that the -- but manufactured but you know he had no real magic -- though all but locked and you have no can't do it. It's a tough one right LB I think -- I I agree -- -- that. We'll do. Everything we possibly can to find a way to keep the depth because we've heard time and time again depth is -- depth -- -- Yes we have so yes they would you know to me it's kind of reminiscent of how a couple of years ago -- -- -- spring training. Aaron Cook was probably throwing as well as anyone on the Red Sox. He was signed to minor league deal about that at the end of April. But he ended up. That they end up sending him down to minors even though it looked really good spring training simply because that's how they've maximized their -- So you know it's ever when it's healthy but you figure that's how the Red Sox were proceed they would figure a way to preserve -- money to preserve that -- that. You know and they would take injury with some. Okay -- go to last positioning and Alex is enjoyable podcast this -- -- enjoyable and I thought it would be well before I called you up. At the end of the situation where -- and minister of what we talk all the time we know wood in so it's. Great thing you don't enjoy or more -- it. I don't I enjoy every single one of our conversation started up -- not all recorded for public consumption separate itself I have my extra good percentage. I have high expectations in this one has met my high expectations. Actually -- Here secret all of them have been recorded its gonna be elected -- Of a doubt by. -- make 35 years it took -- -- adapt to the worker reputation. Will be just I mean revelatory. I had a lawyer because -- right now. The last position catcher and so worst case -- scenarios catcher I'd go for two for one year. Which is you have two guys are up there -- 36 year old were right everybody Pierzynski and Ross Whipple ball -- over -- 36 -- over. And game you have these guys breakdown and they're not it's not working out. Even opens his key is a guy who obviously plays -- games that showed any signs of not be able to play. But you have those guys breakdown or or you have one of breakdown. Really we've talked all right Alvaro potentially playing first base we we know that that could be to fail safe and we also. Have to cut await to see how they're -- position that because. It would be a Dicey situation if you say rival hard way to go learn first based spring training and also catch you I hope that they're gonna do both those what do you. Well I think that he would spend time I think it will viral spend time boat catching and playing first country that's been playing since I. You know I restarted benched in the possibility. In what. November. That they would have him get some time but -- the plate in the first baseman -- nonetheless. It's worth noting that basically. As say as a backup catcher. I think he's well behind on the depth is far behind not just David Ross and AJ Pierzynski of the depth chart. But I think if the Red Sox have more comfortable the idea of being at Butler as a manager. That's the guy that ever or forgets to refocus so much and Christian Vasquez -- were waiting for you to mention him. And I think that is correct me if I'm wrong but they really want to see him get some more Datsyuk and get some more offense of polishing. But did Butler seems to be closer -- Major League ready without without the upside -- Vasquez. For more Major League ready right. You know there are a lot of people -- both inside and outside the Red Sox organization. -- butler's being mutually -- caliber catcher right now and you know whether or not that. Or lose they're there are certain people who stick their necks out and say he's a future starting catcher in the big leagues. But there are a lot of people would think but he can be a very good backup catcher for a number of years. And it's a matter of opportunity so. I think that between him and and David Ross. They would it would feel if -- produced record was injured -- you know it's it's also injured it would clearly be comfortable bring up Butler. As the backup option. It's here's Hinske was in its side Pierzynski was injured. And it was Ross plus one of those prospects that's sort of uninteresting because yes Butler is more Major League ready. You know at the other at the same time they met what did you who aren't quite one last shot in the major leagues. In just see -- expects to see if record if you can reclaim the value of this guys because really lets not kid ourselves is his value in the industry. Is probably and -- it's as well as it's been. In years. And so you know maybe you give him an opportunity. To catch every day. But you know as I can get their conclusion is there a -- wouldn't be. A viable back up catcher he just he just isn't a bit for that role in terms of in terms of the you know the ideal fit for that type of defense reversed on defense first responsibilities. Up at the same time as Howard disappeared so that makes him. Less than perfect fit for the -- -- starting catcher up. So yeah I think without the -- would be kind of arm wrestling match. Within the Red Sox organization has sort of -- Butler or go our way out would be the guy and I mean it is were saying that even though that it is green. There are going to be people in the organization who might even say look even though he's raw and you're expected to be. I'd be a below average offensive player is defense is going to be so good. So reliably in particular court emerged as spring training saying that they really like throwing to him that he he would be a consideration even though. To me it's sort of bet on one of those guys it would I'd be Butler. Well you know I guarantee. Will happen at some point probably this year too. Which is we're gonna have with the with Vasquez we're gonna have Jose Iglesias ideas. You don't have talked about Cynthia Dallas Gonzales when he was here that it people. I haven't you have won 820 right like on the when he -- Kanye yeah I'll get a guy who has done one. It has lately well. And it's it's short it's and it's right bear for even the average fantasy. They see it they they are marveled buy it that it's. It's it's something that they wanna see over and over again. Yes what you saw with a Iglesias. That's what you saw before that with the with -- -- that's why you got full -- to follow called Bobbi died. San you've got to play this guy you got to play this guy you -- play this guy. And -- having seen him in a week -- for trading Vasquez. Quite a bet that's the impression you you your laughed with you wanna see it again. But to your. -- -- -- People in the Red Sox you know it's such organization -- that same spirit. Yeah. Yeah but you gotta be careful because we you know we need. It we we know what you -- those guys can be in the major leagues he. -- Vasquez team we know can play defensively in the major leagues we know. Also although it's worth mentioning there's. He has a work in progress even defensively and that -- and so on a pattern of being overly aggressive which results in in kind of areas of carelessness sell for instance he committed you read these certainly by quite a bit I think in terms of fastball and that's what we're just catching -- callers. It won't -- it that it -- you wanted to progress that way but also offensively you don't worry targets process. To the point of well this is what he settled in and if -- settling into that sorry that you're gonna be a backup catcher because in this day and age. You want some offense from your catcher. You just know. Well I think are very mine. -- I don't listen I'm -- -- let's say let's say he couldn't hit I'm not saying that. You want a catcher who you have to have. That even the production that Saltalamacchia Gaby in the production that you think that Pierzynski or might give you because. If you did that you wouldn't be. We wouldn't be committed to playing time for David Ross so much YouTube and not think David Ross gonna terror up offensively. Fire against lefties yes I know I I I understand that. But what I'm saying is that if you feel like you have a guy who can progress into something -- -- catcher who is gonna play more times than not. Did you do what you can't get to that point. Don't write it in you don't want to jeopardize the jeopardized the ultimate ceiling by rushing they've been development. And -- him from getting this kind of putting under him so yes especially Vazquez who's been. Very much -- kind of leveled -- level guy. Over the courses -- -- -- when he was seventeen so in fact it's didn't ease repeated that the levels at various times his side pro career. But I can to a group that I I tend -- think that you really -- once you get at least half a season's work that patch. Interplay is especially because there's coupled different ball lax when it comes to the game collings. When it when it when it comes to upper levels pitchers in I think it Vazquez. You know needs to kind of go through that finishing school before he's ready to be the leader even even now the shorter term basis. -- and staff. This this doesn't follow -- to the if thing good things can terribly -- podcast. But since we're talking about it it's jumped in my mind -- so I want to ask you. So we get through this year presents he's on a one year deal -- is in the last year of his deal. Next year is there any scenario. Where you have. Heading into the year at the possibility. Was swipe card that's why our rights watch our -- -- our -- I thought I was doubting myself. -- -- -- hard you never CI it's I have to head to spring training by the units for training I will be be locked in on my convictions. So why -- after this year they're possibility it's why heart. And Vasquez being your catchers heading into 2015. Yeah there is until my mind there is not I came here. The most likely scenario is bitterness. I think it's been at least in terms of order of preference. Is -- -- progresses over the course of triple A and he ends up. Being in a time share with either. Los workers and ski either of them would probably be amenable to resigning and a one year deal. -- it Baskett doesn't progressive triple that you could either have Butler was one of those guys where both those guys kind of and -- their development stunted game you would probably be inclined to. You might even be -- -- kind of try to resign both of them for that matter. And she departed -- so -- both of -- -- -- one year deal at that point at their ages. You could see -- agency. Either Vazquez or Butler probably with one of those guys. Or some other. Irate Alex we get a regular takeoff. We got a lot we thought we a lot of work to do this week we're heading to. Heading into the the eye of the storm. Are off the ice storms correct by anyway into the storm this spring training. Starting next week. We're going to be all over it and now we're also heading into another hot stove show on Thursday night who the special guest is going to be. -- are -- not really -- we are maybe. It -- like to act like street. The idea of mystery we get there a guy -- I it's good to they've divulged the public received mystery guest I'll let you. BABs that we don't have quite -- but -- we actually knew that we actually do you have a guess. Review it is side is run our program former. Or current. Part of baseball -- the very exciting to debt and will. -- hockey with feel on Thursday. Will be. Tony with a flurry of podcast. Leading up to that and Alex. Total volume but it was a good conversation I thought. -- Maybe more in each of our conversation -- our pressure. Yes and I will be easily jumping up this podcast and ask ask you but the celtics' schedule for the coming weeks. And I that's Alex spear to VI dot com I'm rob Raptors seem organizational -- next.

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