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.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

It is -- secret. Not -- things that interest you -- I wish -- might just it's. Just sit there and it's okay. It's. Welcome to others shouldn't drive shows like has always like pulled distinctive clothing and hope New Hampshire to find fine institution. Today. Were gracious to have one Red Sox general manager and sharing him. Among the topics Arrington will be talking about where the Red Sox stand heading into the last three quarters of the season. Stephen Drew -- the team looks at him and how they're going to approach and going for dinner Bogart's. With the AC 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 -- bats hot prospect that everyone's talking about including night. Colleague Alex -- who loves himself some key -- but moved he went to the outfield 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 all that in mind here's bench Arrington. Will Ben romo's corner of the way are we are quarter of the way into the season and obviously every season presents some challenges but I guess if you depicts some of the and force -- challenges that you think encounters so far what would -- do you mind. Well you know we just haven't really gotten on track. Offensively. -- -- you know. Different reasons for that. Possessions and things are doing quite well offensively over. Seeing pitches were getting on base -- were taken walks. To who'd been. -- certain pitches pitching pretty well. We had and it as well runners on basin and as the -- 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 -- pitching has been very did. We. Got a little bit slow start defensively but that's been better -- instances stabilized. And so you know displayed. Couple bumps in the road where. Nobody's really pull away in the division so we're we're in good position in. You know we feel like. If if something just get back to normal. -- Morgan's -- huge topic conversation is the young players in the integration of young players in the development. -- come back to the Pedroia analogy of 2007. And and and remembers that the -- telling the organization people in the organization. You might have to take some moments and then sure enough you take the lumps and he comes out to be rookie of the 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 of 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 try to balance to. In your right you know I think -- we go in and year. You know if we're going into any year. Counting on less proven players -- go and see if there. There's a little bit more uncertainty in. 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 you feel. You know certainly bogey over x.s. They had pretty consistently good at bats he's had couple spots here and there but. Defense is continued -- -- You know he's he's doing you know. Pretty much what we expected Newman and we obviously feel he's going to be very good players doing this for a long time. Everyone is in those Bradley's defense in center that's made the 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 his work ethic and his his aptitude and his instincts suggest that. He'll land of that transition and they come. And you really good player force and and that obviously will. -- got enough to -- its. Was playing well and his slump and unfortunately got hurt the other -- 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. Were you continue to count on -- -- we know there were a much better team. If we're putting those guys -- and succeed in -- it we need those guys to be to hit for us to be as good as you wanna be. 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 put the best -- out there candidate as the closeness over. The the American League make that more difficult or less difficult to take an excuse the patience with the young players. Well. Yeah I think we're I think we're mostly focused ourselves the first quarter of the season and Jonathan hero we are or did that there isn't any improvement in. A lot of times there isn't 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 me it's just that we make. In. I think -- is the time for considering other types of things like outside solutions that are. Typically made little bit deeper into the season is yet and -- alive. So. You know I really feel like. What we're in good shape because. Because of -- because of where that is -- but mostly because of the -- -- -- 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 would have projected. There's nobody there's really nobody above projections. They needed a little bit. And you -- unity any projections so I -- I think I take as a good thing where. For better times and once those that serve followed and Mason. You know the start proud -- Baltimore would certainly guys capable of doing that. The runs you know should come more punches than. And of the -- 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 with the -- 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. Was first to admit woman wrecks hurt you have a guy who could fit right in pitching -- something you guys are also struggling with a guy who could also fill a gap. Is it still come back to exactly what you says Hillis and you were we want to figure out ourselves and if we get deeper in the season maybe that conversation happens but right now we're also. Well it as soon as as -- -- 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 -- at all may change along -- it and so. But doesn't mean -- 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 leagues 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. You know an area -- -- excited to work -- -- -- 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 -- have from us. At the time and try to make decisions accordingly and there's all is again there's there's always an effort to improve balls interest in improving. I think we'll start with. -- -- the -- position ourselves let's see how we how much better we did internally first. And then consider him -- turns -- to 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. -- really unique guy he's. Gifted obvious is baseball player would also really that your. Intelligent guy things into wants do it any -- for the Toronto the team win and we started seeing him. Played 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 Boston Red Sox. And you know probably had. -- bumps in the road defensively early on but as work continue to work really hard -- that. That part of his game seems to have stabilized some the last ten days two weeks. He looks more comfortable out there. We know he's gonna hit you know there's huge offensive upside. What we're trying to do -- help them anyway we can. Become the big -- he can -- I think if at some point. We seems shortstop we -- have. We sounds sort stuff when he is playing third base Lester and violence. We would expect anybody on the team just about it there -- a team that's something we can't today. You know the team needs this. We would hope that just about him in the team would say okay yeah whatever it takes to win. You know saw pictures and it would do that but. You know. That hasn't doesn't mean anything other than wheel 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 along the lines of overtime -- before about everything being punched up -- -- I wrote a story about -- and Joseph Manning John Farrell earlier this week. About parity and why there might be parity and -- and particularly tight 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 parity. I think there's so I think there's a trial lot of reasons for I think Joe's right that that's that's one reason. And because you you can. Did you some information were lucky to have a staff that utilizes it for rationalize it. You get information did get implementation of that next future 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 and coming in this year I mean I don't know maybe. Neither neither too you can say two -- -- it -- about. So. So I think that speed and an and on the other side of -- there's also fewer that you it's a -- or run away with it then. -- dominate now some teams everything comes together in the end up winning a lot of games but. Think going -- season more than ever going into the season I think we all feel fans and also front office field. With talent dispersed Morey -- evenly. They're more more teams that are. You know good teams -- teams and it's sort of 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 that vision was get. The last year you know really really. Really flat really competitive and so it's not surprises -- this way and you know we we believe that we've got. That we -- you know many more strength is and any other team in our division and of course will be up Dustin 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've 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 I experienced Eric's. 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 you have this historic run of getting on base. 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 -- that you maybe don't pay attention to it much Alex. But what want went into the decision of playing him in the outfield in Puerto -- from here we moved. Well. The primary thing is obviously you know he's performed at a very high level and he's done that. In many areas of his game series. The on base streak you know people -- out but it. He's -- -- very good defense he runs the bases. He's good teammate he's. Prepares these are working c.s count more conscientious all those things so. I mention that because we you'd be more -- Asking guys you know maybe. Spare matter 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 mode a little bit more responsible -- guys that might not be takes care of -- it's those that went -- Wouldn't necessarily continue to add to them. So some movies team cares possibilities so he's a guy that as many players do. You know and they're -- their times in here and beat the music here do you defense a very you know position and usually -- a grounder to where you don't have much gone. Salukis -- -- runs at the outfield. Every day anyway take balls out there today VP. -- that really natural doing it he seemed to have fun doing it. So in the back of our minds -- else like he could. If it was asked them. Typically it before you know some dias at double -- we. It's like the let them settle on it comfortable on spot for the most part. But he's in double and now is performing obviously at a high level. And so. Like with -- many players in many players and in the big leagues us. We'll start to incorporate another position or to just just to protect ourselves protected there and give him some more options. Dustin Pedroia played short answer in the minor leagues and Larry moved around a field goes Jacoby Ellsbury play all three positions you know some days. So these are this is pretty common practice. And the outfield to seem like the obvious place to start given the fact that he would. Looks so comfortable out there and be in yesterday. To move back and forth. Yeah no he's he's switched and some of them off second base and infield will. We'll get some time in center field crisis in time or other outfield spots. Certainly still play at second base and continue -- at bats. And you know see if things go alive last this is 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 which is coming out. Throughout your years of doing this. What do you -- 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 of 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 college in the invisible man Claude -- project. President of the jumps to mind. Well. It is is a fun time a year I think for every team it's an exciting time future and get ready for the draft and get the guys he was. It's very competitive part to forever ruin baseball. -- the front offices. And so this week this coming week the conference tournaments are happening in. So you know and most teams a lot of people love watching those and then most teams gather. In their offices. Starting next week to really bared down and start the meetings and preparation for the draft. First week in June. So. So we're no different will be part of our. Our scouts are out already in the continue to -- -- -- this week. So unless the front office man out this week a little bit. And as far as remembering time for -- this I think. We we've been fortunate enough and some years. Yeah it access. Owner's plane during that -- You'd imagine. You know. You try to see as many players can limit them is so much. You can do -- -- lines on commercials. Flights. But see it after playing you can you commencement so I remember there was one year we. We -- if somehow we -- I think we figured out -- We saw play there in four different time zones in the same day. And name starting on the East Coast. Obviously in. At a I think it comes to some of those concert against starter leaves early is sent there to -- The starting we just can't you make your way west. -- Remember some of the guys. Actually knows we start Aaron and Ruth did is -- year we took race when it is. We started the morning in Puerto Rico. List him on. Food -- -- game. Probably -- -- that your. And then kept me away west from there and I think we. We saw four different game loser players. In the same Danforth and size of -- I don't. Actually -- -- -- and that's drafting him from those games hurts him. Those those are those liggett's -- Certainly appreciate the access to the plane that -- is chances like this we all appreciate access privatize it and pass it off. Thanks I appreciate.

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