Ben Cherington

Ben Cherington not looking at trades as of now, believes Red Sox can improve with current players

Ryan Hannable
May 23, 2015 - 3:15 pm

With the Red Sox looking to create a spark and rejuvenate the lineup and team, don't expect a trade to be one of those ways -- at least yet. The Red Sox are 19-23 to open the year and have dropped four of their last five games. They are also 8-12 at home and averaging only 2.45 runs per game in May, with 13 of the 20 games scoring two runs or fewer. Manager John Farrell shook up the lineup Saturday, moving Dustin Pedroia into the leadoff spot and flip-flopped David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez, but other than lineup changes, don't expect anything bigger, at least for the time being. "We're looking for ways to get better, there's no doubt about that," general manager Ben Cherington said. "As I said earlier, bigger impactful trades they just don't happen this early, so we're still mostly focusing on finding ways to get better with guys that are here that we have. I think we can do that and improve just with the guys that we have here. "Not to say that we wouldn't look for ways to improve too, but it's just not as common to see trades available this early that are going to be that impactful. We'll keep working and looking at all those areas." The team has a number of players who have under-performed. David Ortiz is hitting .239, Mike Napoli is hitting .182, Mookie Betts is hitting .232 with an on-base percentage of .290 out of the leadoff spot -- and the most disturbing stat of them all, as a team the Red Sox are hitting .203 with runners in scoring position -- second to last in baseball, as only the Reds are worse at .188. Cherington believes in the players they have and is confident they will get back to their track records and the team's performance will in turn change. "I think you watch how guys react, watch the at-bats, watch the work, listen to what people are saying and try to make a determination on that," Cherington said. "I think by and large we have guys who either are or will hit in 2015. There's always going to be adjustments throughout the season, but you look up and down the group of players we have, most of them either have already performed some and shown that they're capable of performing this year, or we believe they will based on the quality of at-bats or recent trend, or whatever. "So I believe in the offense, I believe we can be better collectively as a group. Certainly not lack of care or effort or any of that stuff. Just haven't clicked." Despite the Red Sox' start, the American League East is still there for the taking, as entering Saturday the team was only 4 1/2 games out of first place. While that may be a good thing, it's only good if the team can act upon it. "I think we have an opportunity," Cherington said. "We've been given time to try to iron out some of our issues in certain areas. I think the division is pretty much what we thought it was: competitive, flat, flawed, every team has strengths, every team has weaknesses. We're one of those. I still think we have as good an opportunity as any of the teams in the division to win and be right there at the end. But that doesn't mean we can just wait for it to happen. We got [to] find ways to get better."