Ben Cherington

Red Sox GM Ben Cherington will give team chance to escape slump before exploring trades

John Tomase
May 11, 2015 - 8:51 pm

With the Red Sox struggling as they open the West Coast portion of a 10-game road trip in their personal house of horrors -- they're just 2-11 in Oakland since 2012 -- general manager Ben Cherington told reporters he believes the pieces are in place for the Red Sox to return to contention. "We'€™re judged by the results," Cherington said in O.Co Coliseum on Monday. "Thirty-one games in, our record isn'€™t what we want it to be, but it'€™s 31 games. We'€™ve got a lot of season to play good baseball and I'€™m confident we will." Cherington touched on a number of topics. On the possibility of swinging a blockbuster trade: "Not a lot of teams in that mode, but there wouldn't normally be this time of year anyway. We're not really there yet. There's kind of a little bit of conversation, but not a lot yet. Probably more like the kind of trades that get made early in the season are ones where a team might be trying to find a spot for someone, moving some pieces around, but there's not a lot of team-altering moves being discussed this early. Probably need a little bit of time on that." On the starting pitching staff: "I believe we'€™ll pitch better and I believe we have a lot of the solutions here already. We'€™re trying to create some stability around that group. We lost two catchers in spring training and one earlier in the season, so that'€™s a change that affects pitching to some degree. We obviously changed the pitching coach and we want to see this group have a chance to perform with some stability around it. We believe they'€™ll perform well. Look, we'€™re always looking for ways to get better and will continue to do that as we get deeper into the season." On the struggling offense: "We haven'€™t clicked offensively yet as a team. I still think we will. We have too many good players for the offense not to click as a group and so that will happen. . . . I think the offense is going to be fine. On an individual basis, have a run of at-bats and feel better about themselves. And as a group it'€™s just about doing what they can do and trusting the guy behind them. Letting that team's offensive mindset take over." On rookie catcher Blake Swihart: "I think he'€™s done a good job. You'€™re asking a young catcher who was really kind of ticketed to go to Triple A this year to come up and catch major league games. He'€™s a tough kid, a very tough kid who is going to have a really good, long major league career. So he'€™s come up and we'€™ve asked him to focus on defense and focus on the pitcher first, and that'€™s what he'€™s done. On when Rusney Castillo might arrive from Triple A Pawtucket: "He had a shoulder injury and he's coming back from that. He's kind of right at the end of his re-entry program. He's off tonight -- scheduled off-day tonight -- but he's close to kind of just being a normal player again. We'll let him be a normal player for a little while down there, play, get some more at-bats. But this guy's a talented player who we believe in and believe will have his opportunity here in the big leagues at some point. I don't know when, but totally confident he's going to help us win games at some point." On relationship with ownership: "Great. We talk a lot. They care about the results, I care about the results, we all care about the results. Always trying to find solutions to the issues that we have, trying to find ways to get better. But they've been very supportive. In any form of leadership there's a healthy balance of support and urgency, and I think that's what we feel."