Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington on D&C: Red Sox need to create consistent, sustainable offense

June 04, 2015 - 6:27 am

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday morning to discuss his job, the Red Sox' offense and Eduardo Rodriguez. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. John Henry spoke to the media Tuesday and gave his backing of Cherington and manager John Farrell, stating explicitly Cherington would be the general manager of the Red Sox for a "very long time." While he was grateful for the public vote of confidence, Cherington said because he and Henry have been talking so much recently, it wasn't "really necessary for him to do it in terms of telling him directly." "We've been talking a lot the last few weeks about what's going on," he said. "I think when we're talking about solutions and trying to find ways to get better, the only thing you're focused on is trying to find a way to win games. I'm not worried about job security, just worried about trying to win games, so I appreciate what he said publicly. I think it was important for John Farrell, the clubhouse, and as we talk about good clubhouses and good teams having each others' backs, we'll try to do that, the rest of the front office too, and there's no time being spent inside the offices other than just trying to find ways to get better and win games." It's no secret the Sox have been struggling on offense. Cherington is looking for the team to "create some more consistent offense, some sustainable offense," as a way to turn their 23-30 record around. Since the beginning of May, the Red Sox have had 18 games scoring two runs or less. A suggested solution to some of Boston's hitting and scoring woes is having a designated hitter platoon where David Ortiz starts against righties and Hanley Ramirez goes against lefties. For Cherington, that idea doesn't make an enormous amount of sense. "I think we've got a lot of season to play, and we're going to need the whole roster, and we're going to need to use guys, and we're going to need to get the most out of everyone on the roster," he said. "When you start defining players like that this early, especially guys with track records like that, I'm just not sure that's the solution. We clearly need to produce more offense, we know that." There have been moments this season when Ramirez has struggled in left field, but Cherington acknowledged it's a work in progress. "I think if you step back and think about what this guy did, this is a player who is a star-level player in the middle of his career, who wanted so badly to be in Boston and be a part of what we're doing that he was willing to take the risk of making a difficult position transition in the middle of his career," he said. "It's not something that a lot of players do, and he was willing to do that in Boston where he knew there was not going to be any hiding from it. I think part of why we signed him in the first place was because I and we felt we were so impressed by the level on conviction and courage that he had to do that." "As far as effort and attitude goes, I think his effort and attitude has absolutely been there," Cherington added. "We've seen times during games where he may be cautious on a play or two, and that's part of getting comfortable out there, but I don't see it as an effort or an attitude problem. ... We signed him, obviously, primarily because we feel like he's one of the more talented offensive players in baseball. We'll see how it plays out. I'm glad he's in a Red Sox uniform and I believe over the next four years, he's going to help us win a lot of games." Following Eduardo Rodriguez's second big league start start and second big league win Wednesday, Cherington said though the Sox were expecting him to continue his success from Pawtucket into the big leagues, it's hard to have predicted he would be as good as he's been. "He's done what he was doing, which is to be aggressive and use his mix," Cherington said. "He's got three good pitches, and I think the one moment that sticks out is the at-bat after [Brian] Dozier. [He] gives up a home run to Dozier, and that was probably the first time he really got touched in his two starts, and came right back and attacked the zone for the next hitter, so that was a good sign. And he's a young guy with stuff but ... he knows what he's doing out there, he understands what the hitter's trying to do and he's got enough confidence to go out and execute."