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Red Sox GM Ben Cherington says he won’t make any panic moves

Jun 11, 2014, 11:03 AM EDT

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As Ben Cherington faced the Boston media before yesterday’s game, his team stood ten games back of first place. He told the media, however, that no radical moves were coming. Rather, he’s counting on the current roster to simply step it up:

“Obviously we’re not happy with where we are. That’s not up to our standard. We still believe it’s going to get better. We believe we have a very good team ahead of us this year. Most of that will come from within, guys here performing, getting back to a level they’re accustomed to . . . if we can do that and start playing a little better and win some games and hang in there, we will try to find any way we can to make improvements to the team as the summer goes on. At this point, this early in the season, we’re still mostly focused on the guys who are here, find a way to play better with the guys who are here.”

Cherington said no trades were imminent.

All of which makes sense. Of all of the teams failing to meet expectations this year, the Red Sox are the ones most capable of simply turning on a dime and playing better baseball. They’re just too talented not to and it would represent a panic move to start wheeling and dealing now.

  1. accipiterq - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    There’s a few problems with the Sox, as well as some realities about last year.

    1) Last year’s team over-achieved in a lot of ways. You had a TON of guys hitting/pitching better than they have the last couple years, or ever in a couple cases. Look at Clay for instance.

    2) Nava has been putrid this year after being a top 5 batting average guy last year. I know they sat him a lot in the playoffs, but he was a huge reason they got there in the first place.

    3) This whole middlebrooks fiasco is just ugly.

    4) They lost one of the best, if not the absolute best leadoff man in the game. I know the Yankees overpaid, but with regards to the question of why the Sox aren’t doing as good this year, this looms huge.

    5) Sizemore/Jackie Bradley are completely overmatched at this point. You look at how they people they replaced performed last year, and then compare the performances of Grady & Jackie, and it’s like falling off a cliff.

    Stuff like resigning Drew isn’t going to be the answer here. This team is what it is at this point; if the two aforementioned outfielders can pull it together, and clay can give them even a .500 performance the rest of the way then they’ll be better off than they are now. I’m not that certain they’re a playoff team though, as currently constructed. Just too many holes.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      Signing Drew looked like a panic move.

    • uyf1950 - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:56 AM

      Just my opinion but you can’t say the offense is under performing without including David Ortiz. His performance to date is probably just as much to blame for the Red Sox lack of success as anyone’s. Again in my opinion.

      • playball - Jun 11, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        Agreed.

  2. karlkolchak - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    Good luck with that.

  3. tfbuckfutter - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    Why not?

    The last panic move, signing Drew, has paid off wonderfully so far.

    Keep doing things like that.

  4. proudlycanadian - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    What will happen when Lester asks to be traded to a contender?

    • tfbuckfutter - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      They’ll get a bunch of quality prospects in return that they’ll bury at AAA to sign mediocre free agents to over valued contracts.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        Well we know that’s what the Yanks will do, but he asked about the Sox.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        I guess we don’t know what either team would REALLY do since it’s been awhile since either have them have been sellers (not that there haven’t been times where they should’ve been)

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:59 PM

        Meh more of a joke on how the Yanks seem to just sign overpriced FA. Injuries have hurt both clubs, and I think the Yanks should have seen some of theirs due to age, it still doesn’t help. At least you guys have some prospects still available (Cecchini/Betts for instance). Yanks are in the same place they were last year, wait another year (although Refsnyder could be a gem if he keeps this hitting up).

  5. The Cub Den - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    Rightfully so that they shouldn’t be making any sudden moves. Hitting any panic button doesn’t always fix the problems. They should just find out what went right last year and try to regain their composure. Then again, it’s easier on this side.
    –Mark

    http://mlblogscubden.wordpress.com/

  6. Jack Marshall - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Accipiterq:

    1) Last year’s team over-achieved in a lot of ways. You had a TON of guys hitting/pitching better than they have the last couple years, or ever in a couple cases. Look at Clay for instance.

    Baloney. Nobody had a fluke season, except Koji, and it turns out it was no fluke. Nava had a breakout season, but Buchholtz is that good, when he’s healthy. They just didn’t have a ton of injuries in the line-up, unlike the previous year, and Lackey returned to form

    “2) Nava has been putrid this year after being a top 5 batting average guy last year. I know they sat him a lot in the playoffs, but he was a huge reason they got there in the first place.”

    Nava was sent down with less than 100 at bats, a stupid move, rather than make a choice between Bradley and Sizemore. Blame Farrell. Nava also has hit in awful luck, with a ridiculously low BA on balls put in play. He’s a good hitter.

    “3) This whole Middlebrooks fiasco is just ugly.”

    It’s not a fiasco–he’s proved he can hit. He’s been on the DL twice. The Sox showed more patience with Pedey as a rookie and Trot Nixon, and, absurdly, JBJ. Middlebrooks has real power, and the Sox need it.

    “4) They lost one of the best, if not the absolute best leadoff man in the game. I know the Yankees overpaid, but with regards to the question of why the Sox aren’t doing as good this year, this looms huge.”

    Hindsight bias. Signing Jacoby for what he wanted would have been a stupid move—blaming the season on not making a stupid move is…

    “5) Sizemore/Jackie Bradley are completely overmatched at this point. You look at how they people they replaced performed last year, and then compare the performances of Grady & Jackie, and it’s like falling off a cliff.”

    Sizemore looks rusty; JBJ looks overmatched. You give Sizemore a reasonable time playing regularly to get back, and if not, you move Victorino to center and go get a hitting outfielder. Or stick with Holt

    The season has exposed Farrell as the mediocre manager he has always been

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      Baloney. Nobody had a fluke season

      Buccholz:
      Career : 3.82 ERA/4.12 FIP
      2013: 1.74 ERA/2.78 FIP

      I’d qualify that as a fluke. Mike Carp’s 139 wRC+ hasn’t exactly been sustainable considering the 88 the year prior and 71 this year (SSS alerts). Daniel Nava’s 128 wRC+ is far better than the 95, 104 and 44 he’s put up in his other big league years.

      Nava:
      see above comment

      [Middlebrooks] he’s proved he can hit.

      Can, yes. But will he?
      ’12 – 286 PA; 122 wRC+
      ’13 – 374 PA; 83 wRC+
      ’14 – 82 PA; 74 wRC+

      I’m not so sure

      You give Sizemore a reasonable time playing regularly to get back, and if not, you move Victorino to center and go get a hitting outfielder.

      Sizemore – 196 PA across 50 games, 69 wRC+

  7. jimmyt - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    There is nothing to panic about. The Red Sox are simply back to being who they have always been. It’s OK.

  8. theskinsman - Jun 11, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    They had things break right last year, no huge injury losses,and won it all. This team hasn’t caught a break and may not all season, that’s how it goes. Ortiz is hitting near his norms, whoever is blaming him must be a butt hurt A-rod fan.

    • playball - Jun 11, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      What? My butt doesn’t hurt and I’m not an A-Rod fan. I’m pretty neutral where he’s concerned.

      Ortiz is not hitting what he should be. He is the designated hitter. He should be hitting. I agreed that with all that is going wrong with the team right now, this includes Ortiz. He is a member of the team that is not producing. He should be scoring runs, even without men on base. Team effort, why shouldn’t he be included in the reasons for losing the games?

      • theskinsman - Jun 12, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        Because he isn’t getting much to swing at without another power bat in the line up. Do you blame him for the pitching issues as well? His numbers are about what they normally are this time of year. If the Sox can get a healthy Napoli back, and if Victorino ever comes back, Ortiz’s numbers will rise. Clearly something wrong with Pedroia as well, his swing is way off normal,I don’t recall seeing him ever miss so much with the barrel of his bat.

  9. soxfan893 - Jun 11, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Last year’s Sox, like most WS teams, had the stars align. Just about everything that could go right did. Nava, a guy I love, played WAY above his head, almost nobody got hurt, Clay, when he was healthy, was dominant, and every time they needed a big hit the guy who happened to be at bat would come through. That’s just not going to happen every season, and a regression to the mean was to be expected.

    They miss Jacoby a lot, but again, that was something everyone expected. He is a huge difference maker on the basepaths, but the Yankees contract was just too much to give.
    The outfield is a bit of a mess to say the least. Victorino is hurt, and with the way he plays that’s just the way it’s going to be for the rest of his career. He’s an all out kind of guy, and that can take almost as much as it gives. Sizemore could have been a great story, but either he’s washed up or not there yet. I would hope he’d accept a minor league roster spot to see if it’s the latter, but he can’t stay in the linup. JBJ is still young, and he’s actually been one of the better hitters with men in scoring position. He also plays a GREAT CF, which is not something to just shrug off. I think out of anyone, he is the guy to keep in the lineup to see if he can battle through it. At the very least he’ll give you that defense and hit 9th.

    The big issue is just about everywhere else. I say it’s dealing time! Let the kids play and see what you’ve really got. If Lester wants to go to a contender, do it! Give him a shot at a ring. He may always come back next year anyway. I think Lackey will be a great trade chip. A veteran guy who won’t get paid much next year could be a really big asset at the deadline. Bring up a couple of the young arms to see what they can do. Gomes, AJ, even Drew come deadline time if he’s hitting at all would also be solid role players for a deep playoff run.

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