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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It's blue blue blue blue -- finals right now phones a year ago. Welcome to another edition of the Bradford files. Sponsored as always -- schools distinctive clothing where I am going to stop on by. Three -- get ready for spring training which is only a few days away and -- that mine there's no better person to have on this podcast right now. That my colleague my friend Alex -- Remote -- about Margaret -- -- I would think it would be better yet that is a completely separate podcast we're really talking about the thus the fighter aware of reporters. Throughout the months of spring training which I thought I scenario under yeah big guy actually would be pretty good podcast -- you. Be. In. The U. Out -- it before we dive into the subject which is subject today with Alex is going to be. Theme which is what if things go terribly awry. Otherwise noted extreme. -- That. You. Are. That this. -- he could because sky is falling podcast or. If the -- hits the fan podcast. But -- why. Aren't merely that you know while -- If so so what it what it all. Means is that if the -- 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 Baidu along the -- of the clothing conversation. I could let that slide by without reminding. Everybody before right. Linked up with -- -- Lester Gould. I was the guy to -- entries ago. Just before TV appearance they had big run down -- yes to buy a shirt to Wear on TV. Are you off yes. Believe me they are not selling those flammable shirts that CBS told me that day angles distinctive clothes. Anyway so let's get right to doubts. We're gonna talk about. They you what -- called depth I'm gonna call it if things go terribly awry. The start at first base sort of dollar deal with position players because of regional pitchers would be Euro all day loss -- re going to be listened 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 say they say the jumping off point is. A couple of months you have to fill the gap for at least a couple months. Where they -- what what is their solution in your mind. To leave the likely outcome there. You end up having -- -- now at first base. We're with Jonny Gomes obviously in the mix. It's not in the left few of the interesting question to me is whether or not. They would they're also going to explore this spring. Having little little books -- ground balls. At first base because that would open up a lot of different avenues to them. -- -- you or urged teeny. 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 ago. He hasn't played a positions and playing the outfield college so. You know to be beyond now on the hardware -- option. But I still think there possibly covered by a virtual. Because we already mentioned. Yeah I flew in the -- hurt terribly things go terribly -- scenario first base I think they do have built in solutions they have as he said Nava. -- you have car. And and he who knows him maybe low -- 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 -- you go maybe middle Brooks gets some time there ballots 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 a guy like Brad Snyder back to. To give them some corn -- -- since I'll do it last year. In third base and at first base. He's he had been playing primarily for states. In particular Lester before going over to third -- could take weeks. -- otherwise. You know there's a reason why -- -- be 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 Geithner talking about there. Kind of wild cards. I think that like our prop it up. Back in the Red Sox system and government stick with the Oreo. In which case conceivably -- 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 -- after struggling double and even though it's -- very well in the Arizona Fall League. And you're really kind of moving much further -- the -- When you're looking at beyond shop potential for spacecraft. I don't view I think it or looking at position changed. -- -- -- -- -- -- My guess is that you know is that there are there most like it's solutions are drawn from the major. This is. Aren't moving on second base things go terribly -- just be Droid. Has some sort of incident accident. Ailment. What is the solution there because I think this is a tricky one this is one that really we saw a few years ago. It was it was a tough -- -- -- come. Yeah I think that what thing that we have never seen has brought all -- App. And it happened when he remembered at second -- with expert at the end of the 2012 season and it was pretty. Recent is a forty man. Or -- already on the forty man so Johnson but I think -- -- most. Kind of reversal utility back up guy my guess is it is that in the immediate. Future. -- would present the primary. Line that's defense. But if there's a real possibility that will keep that. You know period just as the kind of exciting skill set. Did it allow him to. Assert himself by the second half the -- but do you think you're right this is that your position but -- the -- pretty early that the I would like -- going from Korea to relatively unproven guys were minors. All right well we're gonna move -- 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 is Stephen Drew comes back in -- very deep at the position. Obviously with Bogart's there -- you -- mentioned some the other names Herrera. Holds this 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 were reacting in the system. I guess other than a hole. Yeah that's this again dipped to area public. I think -- in the not too distant future you're talking about a guy like eight -- Being able to much has stepped in a deposition may be good -- 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 Guerrero and say as a fill in shortstop couldn't give up that's not I GO Coverdale option. Oracle for that matter again. Is is ideal position is probably second base so. Not ideal. Gaps so that that's a position. It is they do not -- signed through they would have some vulnerability. You know we will -- third base in him that links up with shortstop a little bit because. You if you do have a problem it 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 -- you go to the next I'll run down with might be -- could she be. There in a position where they were a couple years ago where you have to go out again at the eighty Valencia which. Dave 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 based. This is the 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 to turn to arrive no Holtz and slider which were okay for a while greatly. 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. I can't go DJ BDJ breed to do. It. It's it's I have a cold so -- are all I hit three free passes of this podcast. -- But you know -- -- went OK when it when they had dictate turn to the hole in the Snyder. There wasn't active TB 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 AAA level but they at least have that option close of the Major League correct. Yet checking -- right now is basically where where Jackie Bradley junior was -- spring training. In 2013. News Saturday and senator and I let -- finally based on base percentage. With a 440 real BC so even though that was achieved that high in double way he showed that -- in groups 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. -- about bats you'd be a little bit worried about the defense because. That remains you know that means a work in progress for him by that's something that that would certainly be an option it is worth noting that Trevor shot. Has played -- -- both -- so. You know don't to -- him completely is reporting some measure of insurance even though you'd like to unions up a year. -- You'd be in double play good but that that would be AAA I anticipate to start the 2000. To circa 2014 season and yes so I think that you know with. With the likes of -- Brooks and -- -- in all insider. You're okay. If you don't feel like he's ready and you outsider. In bringing him back up because you know you'd they felt they talk. Clearly good enough about him that they -- -- them and they resent him pretty early priority. I know that you hate to deal hypotheticals but in this optical course of the podcast. Or -- I am going to throw -- you ate a big gold moat and and that is our first hypothetical situation it's a good one. I think. Which is -- will little Brooks. Either gets hurt or has a terrible terrible spring training. Which are you know it's that's probably not gonna push him out of assuming this through -- side. And so you have something go terribly. Awry with the will middle Brooks can Cheaney has ice I Jackie Bradley spring training. What happens. I think it basically Mel Brooks they see as fathered a ride out the right or even a little bit to see inside -- put the lights go on. You respondents and if he doesn't it and you know -- any sustained has performed against upper levels pitching and remember. You know -- should he needs spends 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 Tripoli even though you know of the event -- suggests there should be a relatively. Very -- there should be considerable amount that but -- little Brooks gets injured. And I think you know back into -- in play. Is made -- simply struggles through spring training. I think the -- still ride it out and and see what happens. To start the year before they make. You know try to get chips he needs some reps and the -- in in the minors before they'd they'd make that fairly drastic decision to you to consider sending middle expect. Number can value the second straight hypothetical you thought I was gonna ease into the next hypothetical about -- right back out. Barbara Bradford I'm -- 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 -- the Jackie Bradley last year. -- -- -- -- it -- about it yes Cesar Crespo. Ha. That's what this might default street trading performance. Well Chris Carter Carter Chris colonel what -- -- notice though he was showing up by diving for it visible. Balls in the outfield at 4 o'clock in the morning. Floor meaning you know it's amazing like the worst place -- -- the worst -- all spring training. Evidently technique deal which is now go -- the pirates because there's a jet stream that might have heard about 3000 miles an hour. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Seventeen to fifteen against acquired him at a dismembered that you wait in the club has struggled you'll fine. In the beginning we get to guys report on the bus. But I just remember like that right by -- Cris Carter was station for final inning. Back game you to. So into every like this I think it was it was kind of unprecedented emotion for. In the -- he deals Richard. I admired that. Ali is he views illicit we can reach him we can joke about it the intensity every -- -- 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 yet VP the American League. Crown -- crown yeah that's right was MVP was Triple Crown right. Yeah I mean yeah if you get the Triple Crown you know it was a 201 side yeah. Yet are you admire that that drive that impish. So Jackie Bradley wasn't making up predictions of triple crowns or BP has -- -- 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 -- -- is -- starting center field spot. What happens there now what you're left with is probably moving Shane Victorino older senator. And in your gonna probably have that now vote -- combination you also have car. -- Is is the gas that if the -- price -- 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 Brent has an enormous spring training is out -- well. Alex house. I went to them. Ashton has the -- of the 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 -- open and a lot of there -- there would be a considerable opportunity presented to a number of guys Bradley's struggles that. And it's worth noting that I had a conversation with -- -- in towards the end of last season for for one of the final opposite to down on the farm. And. Which will be back will be back starting what date. But -- 23 there you know -- clock is ticking yes but it but -- had a conversation with insurance and -- that about. About their current decision making process that goes into that you. It goes into you when you turn over the reins to a young player and he said but at some point. They have to prove. That they've got us where that's what you said -- reset this year on the hot stove show. Well that's a great point circuit city's he's consistent and -- you undermined the value -- show thanks rob. But it don't buy it I just valued he says that first of your show. You have practice he delivered about morality revealed it was totally don't if you're or on that where you want when he was on the -- about -- Yeah so why are you Japanese say yes as you told me on down on the farm earlier. Last season I am very much it but yet. So they wanna see. And got to prove it 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 there 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 policy but you -- beat LB -- really felt on for. All this other scenario -- price should brought up before but it's it's hypothetical situation number three. Which is Jackie Bradley has a really really bad spring training -- Grady Sizemore actually looks healthy. So. Do you just do you takes its third there is I think. A prevailing thought even though they say we're gonna give Grady Sizemore every opportunity to win a job defied 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 -- 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 size more they showed 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 -- the right decision for them has probably. Since start of the year Jackie Bradley junior. You know it's if Bradley has struggled -- to let him work out -- struggle mightily spoke to come up with a base I have confidence. OK 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 Jon -- waves his. World Series magic want. And and everyone is performing admirably that's. That's Jackie Bradley that's Grady Sizemore is John ago -- Shane Victorino. Did Obama. 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 -- go their way to. 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 want to -- credit magical water has eliminated all injury concerns that the yet but manufacturer -- -- you know he had no real -- -- though call log and you have no can't do it. It's a tough one right LB I think -- I I agree a bill that. We'll do. Everything we possibly can to find a way to keep the depth -- as we've heard time and time again depth is the depth change. 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 a minor league -- about that at the end of April. But he ended up. Did they end up sending him down to minors even though it looks really good spring training simply because that's how they maximize their -- So you know it's ever -- -- healthy but you figure that's -- -- -- proceed they would figure a way to preserve as my nature preserve that that. You know and they would take an entry with some. Okay -- go to last positioning and Alex is enjoyable podcast this vote for enjoyable and I thought it would be well before I called you up. The occasion where -- and mr. Obama we talk all the time we know wood in so it's. Great thing you don't enjoy -- more record it. I don't I enjoy every single one of our conversations that are not they're 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's the issue of secret all of them have been recorded it's gonna be elected -- dictates. Of -- -- by. And like 35 years to stop support the darker reputation. Will be just I mean revelatory. I had a lawyer because it right now. The last position catcher and so worst case can scenarios catcher -- go for two for one year. Which is you have two guys are up there -- 36 year old were right everybody prince is Ian Ross Whipple ball -- over third 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 tried to Colorado violent 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 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 spent time both catching and -- first country that's been planned since I. You know I restarted benched in the possibility. In what. November. That they would have him get some time but by the -- in the first -- -- 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 stand in -- and -- of the depth chart. But I think -- the Red Sox have more comfortable -- idea. -- Butler as a manager. That's the guy that everyone 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 offensive 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 -- arts organization. He butler's being mutually Rick -- that your right now and you know whether or not that. Or -- there there are certain people who stick their necks out and say -- -- futures starting catcher in the greatly. But there are a lot of people looking but he could 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 they would feel if it 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 -- Penske was in its -- Pierzynski was injured. And it was Ross plus one of those prospects that's -- it's uninteresting because yes Butler is more Major League ready. You know the although the same time they met what did you who aren't -- one last shot in Major League. In just see -- expects to see if record if you can reclaim the value of this -- because really let's not kid ourselves is is value in the industry. Is probably -- 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 -- I can get their conclusion is that partly wouldn't be. A viable backup catcher he just he just isn't a -- 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. -- -- the same time as power disappeared so that makes them. Less than perfect fit for the -- -- starting catcher. So yeah I think without the that would be kind of arm wrestling match. Within the Red Sox organization has sort of -- Butler or go our way would be the -- 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 below average offensive player is defense is going to be so good. So reliably in particular court -- merchants portraying things that they really like throwing to him that 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 to. Which is we're gonna have with the with Vasquez we're gonna have Posey quickly sees ideas. You don't have talked about Cynthia Dallas Gonzales when he was here that it people. I haven't you have 1820. Right like on the when he -- kinda they'll have a guy who has done one. -- 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 by 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 -- all's that's why you've got full -- to follow called Bobby died. -- you've got to play this guy you got to play this guy you know play this guy. And -- having seen him in a week solomons 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 -- you know it's such organization -- that same spirit. Yeah. Yeah but yet to be careful because we you know we -- It we we know what you view those guys can be in the major leagues he. Listen Vasquez team we know can play defensively in the major leagues we know. Also although it's worth mentioning here. He has a work in progress even defensively and that -- and so on a pattern of being overly aggressive which results in in -- those. Areas of carelessness cell for instance he committed you -- certainly by quite a bit I think in terms of past all that what we're just catching local callers. It won't -- it that it -- you wanted to progress that -- but also offensively you don't -- 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 this data age. You want some offense from your catcher. You just know. Well I think are very mine. Average patient right no listen I'm -- -- let's say let's say he couldn't fit I'm not saying that. You want a catcher who you have to have. That even the production this Saltalamacchia Gaby in the production that you think that Kaczynski -- 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 do not think Dave Ross -- a terror up offensively. Fire against -- yes no 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 he had to get to that point. Don't write it in you don't want to jeopardize the jeopardized the ultimate -- by rushing they've been development. And threatening him from getting this kind of putting under him so yes especially Vazquez who's been. Very much -- kind of leveled so level guy. Over the course of the stories -- when he was seventeen so in fact it's did you repeated the levels of various times his side pro career. But I tend to agree that I -- the thing that you really do what it seemed at least half a season's work that patch. Interplay is especially because there's coupled different ball lax when it comes to -- -- When it when it when it comes to upper levels pitchers in I think it best as. 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. -- This this doesn't follow and the -- good things go terribly -- podcast. But since we're talking about it it's jumped -- my in my -- I want to ask you. So we get through this year presents he's on a one year deal -- -- -- is deal. Next year is there any scenario. Where you have. Heading into the year at the possibility. Was swipe art that's why our rights watch art sweetheart art Swire I thought I was doubting myself. There are slight heart who never CI it's at they had to spring training by the units for training and will be be locked in on my convictions. So why -- after this year they're possibility of swipe art. And Vasquez being your catchers heading into 2015. Yeah there is until my mind there is not I came -- The most likely scenario is bitterness. I think it's in at least in terms of order of preference. Is -- -- progresses over the course of AAA yen up. Being in a time share with either. -- workers and ski either from would probably be amenable to resigning and a one year deal. It is basket that some progress triple that you could either have -- -- plus one of those guys we're both those guys kind of and -- -- their development extensive game you would probably be inclined to. You might even be read in kind of try to resign both of them for that matter. And she departed -- so -- -- one year -- at -- -- at their -- You could see -- agency. Either Vazquez or Butler probably with one of those guys. Or some other. -- -- Alex we get a regular takeoff. We got a -- we thought we a lot of work to do this week we're heading to. Petty into the the eye of the storm. Are off the ice storms correct by anyway into the storm that is spring training. Starting next week. We're going to be all over it and now we're also heading into another -- -- show on Thursday night who the special guest is going to be. Mr. You're not really be that we are maybe. It is like to act like street. The idea of mystery we get there a guy ought to I asked us to -- -- the public received mystery guest I'll let you. -- it means that we don't have thought that that. We actually knew that we actually do have a gas. Review it is side of our program former. Or current. Part of baseball -- the very exciting to debt and will. -- sock you with feel on Thursday. Will be. Tony with a flurry of podcast. Leading up to that and Alex. Total volume but it was -- conversation I thought. -- Maybe more 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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