Josh Rutledge

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington explains thinking on Josh Rutledge, Rusney Castillo, and Jackie Bradley Jr.

John Tomase
July 27, 2015 - 4:44 pm

Red Sox fans had two questions after Shane Victorino was traded to the Angels on Monday: who did the team receive in return, and why did Rusney Castillo get the call to play right field instead of Jackie Bradley Jr.? General manager Ben Cherington answered both queries in a conference call. First, he provided a scouting report on infielder Josh Rutledge, a former Rockies middle infielder who didn't make the Angels out of spring training and has spent the year at Triple-A Salt Lake City, where he's hitting .274. Cherington said Rutledge would probably join the big league roster and described him in terms somewhat similar to utilityman Brock Holt. "Josh is a guy we'€™ve had interest in back to his Colorado days," Cherington said. "He got to the big leagues really quickly with Colorado and then fell behind some other infielders they had. . . . He'€™s an offensive infielder with some defensive versatility." Rutledge hit .259 from 2012-14 with the Rockies after being drafted in the third round of the 2010 draft out of Alabama. "With Pedroia out for a little bit, there should be some playing time in the infield with us," Cherington said. "We'€™ll get to know him better. He'€™s a guy who'€™s now in his third organization, but has had some offensive success, he has some defensive versatility. He'€™s a guy we can envision as a part of the team going forward, but we'€™ll get to know here the rest of the year." As for Castillo vs. Bradley, Cherington said the club wants to give the former an extended look in the majors. "We just want to see him continue to get comfortable and get acclimated at the big league level," Cherington said. "This is a guy we believe in and believe will be a good major league player. Hopefully there's an opportunity to get him a good amount of playing time between now and the end of the season." The Red Sox aren't giving up on the $72.5 million man, who has appeared overmatched at times early in his big league career. "What we see is a guy who's got great bat speed, strength," Cherington said. "He's still just adjusting to North American, major-league style of pitching, in terms of what pitchers are trying to do, and learning how to use his style and strengths in a way that works at the major-league level. We've seen flashes of really good stuff, but he's still a guy that's making adjustments." So where does that leave Bradley, a Triple-A All-Star this year with Gold Glove abilities in center and an improving bat? "Jackie is doing well," Cherington said. "He's made a real adjustment. There is still merit, and certainly there's consideration to try and create opportunity for him, too. Today, it's Castillo, and we'll see how it goes."