WEEI>On Demand>>The Bradfo Show: Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington talks Stephen Drew, Mookie Betts, state of team

The Bradfo Show: Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington talks Stephen Drew, Mookie Betts, state of team

May 19, 2014|

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joins Rob Bradford to discuss how he is approaching the season's second quarter, while analyzing the first 43 games. Cherington also touches on how he views the Stephen Drew situation, while explaining the team's approach to the left side of the infield as the season unfolds. The GM also offers insight as to why the Red Sox are now trying out top prospect Mookie Betts in the outfield, while remembering the importance of John Henry's private jet this time of year.

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

It is -- secret. Not -- things that interest you -- I -- -- might just it's. Just sit it's okay. -- Welcome to another edition of that show's sponsor has always like pulled distinctive clothing and -- -- insurance to find fine institution. Today. Were gracious to have one Red Sox general manager and sharing him. Among the topics sharing -- will be talking about where the Red Sox stand heading into the last three quarters of the season. Stephen Drew how the team looks at him and how they're going to approach and going for dinner Bogart's. What they -- for his future his development including. The topic of whether or not there would be open to moving him to third base and even a little bit smoky bats hot prospect that everyone's talking about including night. Colleague Alex spear love themselves some move -- -- moved he went to -- field and double A Portland on Sunday for the first time. Might be a glimpse into the future one awaits. Will keep that in his position change of all that in mind here's bench Harrington. Will general most corner of the way are we are quarter of the way into the season and obviously every season presents its own challenges but I guess if you depicts some of the I'm foreseeing challenges that you think encounters so far what would genteel mind. Well you know we just haven't really gotten on track -- offensively. Men theirs you know. Different reasons for that. Possessions and things are doing quite well offensively over. Seeing pitches were getting on base bigotry were taken walks. To who's been. Granted certain pitches pitching pretty well. We had and it as well runners on basin and as -- teams the power hasn't been there as much. So those things are things that that may just take care of themselves as as time goes on. Is a lot of good things are pitching has been very did. We. Got a little bit slow start offensively but that's been better -- instances stabilized. And so you know displayed. Couple bumps in the road where. Nobody's really pulled away in the division so we're we're in good position in. You know we feel like. If there's some things just get back to normal. We'll start -- More -- obviously huge topic conversation is the young players and the integration of young players in the development. -- come back to the Pedroia analogy of 2007. And and and remembers and -- -- telling the organization people in the organization. You might have to take some more homes and then sure enough you take the lumps and he comes out to be rookie year. Now knowing and not every player's Pedroia not every situation that same what do you see that development now and is there. In general terms the time the season where you say okay developments can be pushed aside and we got to kind of think about this year. Well. I think euros trying to balance -- two. In your right you know I think -- we go in and year. You know if we're going into any year. Counting unless proven players -- go assuming there. There's a little bit more uncertainty and little bit more room for. Volatility perhaps and we wouldn't do that if we didn't think that the the payoff was. Potentially so -- it and and it made sense in in the short term and long term. So that's still how we feel. You know certainly bogey -- vs. They had pretty consistently good at bats he's had couple spots here and there but. Defense is continue to improve city. You know he's he's doing you know. Pretty much what we expected Newman and we obviously feeling going to be very uplifting -- for a long time. Everyone who knows Bradley's defense in center that's made a difference for us. He doesn't. Really strong offensive track record. And he's going through an adjustment. Here in the big leagues and his track record -- work ethic and his his aptitude and his instincts suggest that. -- inland of that transition come. And -- player force and and that obviously will. -- -- -- -- -- -- Was playing well and his slump and unfortunately -- hurt the other night in this time now. So. You know our our job as far as like the long the long term of the season. You know world were. -- continue to count on the Afghan as we know there were a much better team. If we're putting those guys investors and succeed in -- -- we need those guys to be to. For us to be excuse me wanna -- You know and and I think everyone knows that every player in that clubhouse knows. That's you know ultimately we're trying to -- game is trying to -- the best you know -- candidate as the closeness over. The the American League make that more difficult or less difficult to take an excuse to patients with a young players. Well. Yeah I think we're I think we're mostly focused ourselves the first quarter of the season and -- hero we are or did that there isn't any improvement in. A lot of times there is an improvement and things that we can. Just get better at internally you know things get better at. Maybe it's maybe it's an adjustment that a player makes it's just that we make. In. I think the the time for considering other types of things like outside solutions that are. Typically made little bit deeper into the season has yet and -- alive. So. You know I really feel like. What we're in good shape because. Because of partly because of where that -- -- but mostly because of the Gaza Hamas are pitching and pitching depth. The group of position players we have who have if you look at it's really that. Look across the board. That what the performances then offensive performance. Compared to what. Most -- projected. There's nobody there's really nobody above projections. They needed a little bit. And you -- unity needing protection so I take I think I take as a good thing where. In for better times and once those that serve followed -- -- You know the start proud moment -- most certainly guys capable of doing that. The runs you know should come more punches than. And legalese here at a leisurely games that way. You know then and along the way of course we've got to keep -- mine if there was some truth in different ways will. It's in its. You know within a year you mention you you can wanna focus on yourself through those first or the season. In the obvious conversation for bought people out there who want to maybe jump the gun on that and improve the team or look at it differently before the court season. The guy like Stephen Drew sits out there. And he. Whispered to admit woman over expert you have a guy who could fit right in pitching with something you guys are also struggling with a guy who could also fill the gap. Is it still come back to exactly what you says Hillis and you were we wanna figure out ourselves and if we get deeper in the season made that conversation happens but right now we're also. Well -- as as Angela said before I would say again that is. We've got to evaluate. Every situation based on the information we have at that time. You know if information changes. Then. Our position may at all may change along -- it and so. But doesn't -- -- yet. Every decision right of course we don't. Every decision we make every position we take is based on the information we have at that time and so that's led to where we are now and right now we know that. We know that were right in the Middle East division we know that we've got a -- lot of strengths on the team. We have a lot of depth to even be on the -- man roster down in my beliefs that we can we -- you account on later in the year. We know that we have position players who are gonna start to hit more because that's what they've always done. And we know that we've got. It's you know an area -- the and so we're we're missing a player in. That we haven't gotten. The total performance that. You know we would like to get at this point here so. I think all that well that means is that. Will continue to look at the information we have from us. At the time and try to make decisions accordingly and there's all is again there's resolves an effort to accrue -- interest in improving. I think we'll start with. That's the default position themselves let's see how we how much better we did internally first. And then consider an external turns -- that. You know part of the part of the adjustment -- part of the evaluation also in this regard is in a Bogart's. And even though he played third base very well. Yes correct me if I'm wrong but I would imagine the organization also wants to really. Give him some ownership of shortstop I don't know if that's the right way to put it but. But really say hey you're -- -- let's -- we can do there and and that might factor into any decision. Well. You know. And things in Zander was. Sinners really unique guy he's. Gifted obvious is baseball player would also really that your. Intelligent guy things -- wants do it any canned -- Tinto the team win and who started seen him. Play different positions and -- an idea. You know we've seen and then this year is that here's a young guy who's taken higher responsibility position shortstop for the -- Red Sox. And you know probably had. -- bumps in the road defensively early on but as work continue to work really hard of that. That part of his game seems to stabilize some the last ten days two weeks. He looks more comfortable out there. We know he's -- hit you know there's huge offensive upside. What we're trying to do is just -- we can. Become the big leader he can -- I think if at some point. We seems shortstop we elves have. We sounds sort stuff when he is playing third base -- and violence. We would expect anybody on the team just about it -- it -- that some while McCain today. You know the team needs this. We would hope that just about him in the team let's say OK yeah whatever it takes to win. Saw pictures and it would do that but. You know. -- -- -- to mean anything then -- flew him -- good team guys. But we we like the job he's done and done shorten certain that we can play that position. You know oil along the lines of overtime -- before about everything being bunched up -- -- I wrote a story about -- and Joseph -- mean John -- earlier this week. But parity and why there might be parity and -- and particularly site thinks it's. The embracing of analytics across the board and obviously part of that is shifts and we all know there's been a ton more shifts who would you buy into that are what's your kind of view of the -- I think there's so I think there's a trial lot of reasons for I think Joe's right -- that's that's one reason. And because you you can. Did you some information were lucky to have a staff that utilizes informational. You get information did get implementation of that next quiche and you can. You can sometimes neutralize what might be a disadvantage and that's. That that could be part of increasing parity that were seen in the league but I think there's a reason to certainly. There have been. You know mechanisms in place for her. Several years now to try to encourage. Talent to be dispersed throughout the league and I think we're seeing that happen you know if you. I remember it wasn't too long 1015 years ago that. It seemed normal to go into the season and just in there in the for example be able to come up with a 67 maybe eight teams that. In any chance. Winning in. Coming in this year I don't know maybe. Neither neither to you can say two or three it says about. So. So I think that speech and an and on the other side of that there's also fewer that you would say. Urges generally it then. -- dominate now some teams everything comes together in the end up winning a lot of games but. And going is season more than ever going into the season I think we all feel fans and also from office field. The -- dispersed Maury -- evenly. They're more more teams that are. You know good teams -- -- -- gathered. Is it gathering in the middle and it's really competitive baseball makes for a competitive division. This is sort of how we thought the vision was get. The last year you know really really. Really flat really competitive and so -- not surprises -- this way and you know we we believe that we've got. That we get you know many more strength is and any other team in our division and then of course will be up -- try to figure out how to. Improve -- -- whatever weaknesses we have between now and as we get into through you know June and July. And now hopefully we can do that but. We we feel good and and fortunate to be. Rory are right now despite the fact there's been -- in the room last question is something that -- experienced -- About which is my colleague but maybe we'll keep that is actually finally played outfield starting on Sunday. And you talk a little bit about what went into that decision and where you see -- double key. Right now and his development. The obviously had this historic run of getting on base. If people wanna know you know what's going forward for this guy could justice getting on the radar a lot of people lot of people for you maybe don't pay attention to implement Alex. But what what went into the decision of playing him in the outfield and where do we go from here -- moved. Well. The primary thing is obviously you know he's performed at a very high level and he's done. In many areas of his game series. The on base streak you know people -- out but it. He's also very good defense he runs the bases. He's -- teammate he's. Prepares these are working c.s count more conscientious all those things so. I mention that because we you'd -- more apps. Asking guys you know maybe. It's fair manner or takes its another position if they're doing those things that are you know he's taking care a lot of responsibilities though so we can. He looked at holders more little bit more responsibility rumors guys that might not be takes care of -- spill is -- Wouldn't necessarily continue that to them. So so movies take care responsibilities so he's a guy that as many players do. You know and they're BP their -- in here and beat the unity here do you defense a very you know position and usually -- a grounder to you don't have much gone. Some movies -- those gases runs at the outfield. Everyday anyway take balls out there today BP. Yells that really natural doing it he seemed to have fun doing it. So in the back -- -- -- they'll study could. If it was asked them. Typically -- before you know some of the NCAA we. It's like the let them settle in Kosovo on spot for the most part. But he's in double and now is performing obvious level. And so. -- many players in many players and in the big -- us. Let's start incorporating other position to just just to protect ourselves protect and give him some more options. Doesn't apparently short answer in the minor -- and Larry -- around the field goes Jacoby Ellsbury play at all three positions and oust him days. So these are this is pretty common practice. And an outfield to seem like the obvious place to start given the fact that he would. Looks of culture club there in the interest. -- move back and forth. Yeah no he's he's written some of them off second base and infield bill. We'll get some time in center field prices in -- or other outfield spots. Certainly still play at second base and -- -- -- at bats. And you know see if things go live last this -- this little. The last question I promise but the this is the time you were you hit the road or scouting for the amateur draft pictures coming out. Throughout your years of doing this. What do you get you know one good story from the road or one good story about. Potentially. I -- a guy. It I don't know anything from the film that you did after news though that lead to the draft I remember. Going back to 20032002. JP Rashard talked about going after Aaron Hill and and pretending like he wasn't there and you know -- in the invisible man Claude -- project. President -- jumps to mind. Well. It is is a fun time a year I think for every team you know -- successes and future and get ready for the draft and get the guys he was. It's very competitive part to forever oil and its well all -- front offices. And so this week this coming week the conference tournaments are happening and so you know and most teams a lot of people while watching those and then most teams gather. In their offices. Starting next week to really bared down and start the meetings in preparation for the drafts. First week in June. So. So we're no different will be part -- Our scouts are out already in the continue to -- -- -- this week. Some of us in the front office man out this week a little bit. And as far as remembering time for us this I think. We we've been fortunate enough and some years. Yeah it accessed. -- plane during that -- You'd imagine. You know. You try to see as many players can limit amendments as a source. You can do -- -- reliance on commercial. Flights. But see it after playing you can you can maximize that rumors there was one year we. We -- if somehow we -- I think -- Leo it's. We saw play there in four different time zones in the same day. And name starting needs those. Obviously in. At a I think it comes to some of those concert against our early -- early -- -- there to -- The starting you know diskette you make your way west. Police. Some of the guys. Actually knows we stardom -- that is -- year we took race when it is. We started the morning in Puerto Rico. List him on. Food costs -- game. Probably amber Greensboro that your. And then kept coming our way west from there and I think we. We saw -- -- -- -- -- players. In the same Danforth and size of that was. I don't. Actually on the Wii and that's drafting him from those games hurts him. Those those are those liggett's isn't. Certainly appreciate the access to the plane that -- is chances like -- we all appreciate access private plans as it off. Thanks very appreciative.

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