Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington on pitching woes: 'Definitely focus internally first'

John Tomase
April 29, 2015 - 1:18 pm

Don't expect to see Cole Hamels in a Red Sox uniform anytime soon. Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington is not ready to explore alternatives to his beleaguered starting rotation, but if the club reaches that point, it will focus internally before entering the trade market. Red Sox starters entered Wednesday night's game against the Blue Jays with the worst ERA in the big leagues (6.03), but Cherington told that now is not the time to make changes. "Right now, [we're focused on] the five guys we have here," he said. "Keep running them out there, and getting better. The first step is just to help our guys -- they have to help themselves, they're a part of it -- but get them closer to pitching to what they're capable of doing. If they do that, they'll win games." It hasn't been there for the Red Sox as a staff. They've allowed a league-high 118 runs, and their starters are the primary culprits. Clay Buchholz is 1-3 with a 5.76 ERA, followed by Rick Porcello (1-2, 6.48), Joe Kelly (1-0, 4.94), Justin Masterson (2-0, 5.16) and Wade Miley (1-2, 8.62). That has led to speculation that Cherington might engage the trade market earlier than usual, with Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels pitching better, Philadelphia reportedly dispatching former manager Charlie Manuel to Single-A Salem to evaluate outfielder Manuel Margot, and the Red Sox clearly in need of a boost. Cherington reiterated that the Red Sox aren't thinking trade at the moment. "More time," he said when asked how much longer he could stick by his starters. "I don't have an exact date, but more time." If the Red Sox do reach a point where they need to make a change, Cherington made it clear that they'll look to Triple-A Pawtucket first, where left-handers Brian Johnson and Eduardo Rodriguez are pitching well. "Definitely focus internally first," he said.