Mike Hazen

Mike Hazen on D&C: Despite worst starting pitching ERA in majors, 'We believe in this rotation'

Ryan Hannable
April 23, 2015 - 5:58 am
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Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning to discuss the start of the Red Sox season, including the starting rotation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. Through the first 15 games of the season the Red Sox starting rotation has the worst ERA in baseball at 5.71. Despite the poor start, Hazen says he and the rest of the organization believe in the five pitchers they have. "We believe in this rotation," Hazen said. "We believe in this rotation now. We believe in it moving forward. What changes, what updates, what things we need to do as the season unfolds that's to be seen. These guys, for the most part, all have proven records over the course through their careers and moving forward. We think these guys are going to be pretty good. "I know things haven't at least from a rotation standpoint got off on the right foot necessarily, but it's early in the season. We're seeing it across the league -- guys with other teams doing the same type of stuff. These are things we're going to continue to monitor as we watch the club moving forward." With the struggles of the rotation, some have pointed to the number of promising pitching prospects in Triple-A, including Brian Johnson, Henry Owens and Eduardo Rodriguez. Hazen said it's too early to first panic with what they have at the major league level, but also rush these prospects to the majors. "Again, we're going to continue to watch this as it moves forward. It's still way too early," Hazen said. Added Hazen: "Having that depth in Triple A -- yeah, it's great. We love having players down there that are going to come up and contribute. We know we're not getting through the season with 25 men, we know we're not getting through the season with 40 men. Year in and year out we're going to be relying on the players not only outside the organization, but down in Pawtucket. It's great to have guys in [Eduardo] Rodriguez, [Henry] Owens, [Brian] Johnson and [Matt] Barnes down there throwing well. But, they are still in Triple-A, they're not in the big leagues. They're going to probably go through that same transition." Hazen did say he believes all those players have a chance to make an impact at the big league level at some point this season. Here are more highlights from the interview. For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox. On Hanley Ramirez's transition to left field at Fenway: "Very comfortable. He's putting his work in. We knew this was going to be a transition. It is one of the more challenging places to play left field in baseball. That wall, while it's close and you get to play closer to the field and your throws are shorter when you're at home it provides some challenges on balls, especially line drives that are coming near your head. Height or a little higher where you think you can get them, or you don't know if you can get them, the wall creeps up pretty quickly. He's going to get comfortable as he keeps moving back and having him go after those balls. Obviously, you see what he does in the lineup. This guy takes two swings and his helmet falls off and then he rifles a single to right field. Pretty impressive in the batters box." On the lineup: "No doubt in my mind that Pablo [Sandoval, Nap [Mike Napoli], [Shane] Victorino are going to get going at some point. Obviously Hanley [Ramirez] has got off to a great start. Mookie Betts and Xander [Bogaerts], Pedey [Dustin Pedroia], David [Ortiz] -- we're going to have a pretty formidable lineup moving forward." On what would happen if Shane Victorino were to miss time with injury: "Rusney [Castillo] is not playing right now. He's going to be probably I'd say 10 days away from getting into games. I think we're very comfortable with whatever happens at the major league level, partly with how we built the team between [Brock] Holt, [Allen] Craig, [Daniel] Nava -- all those guys are going to move around. They can all play that position if we have to survive an injury for a couple of weeks, which hopefully we don't. At this point we haven't got an update today, but hopefully we don't, but if we did, we feel the depth on the team at the major league level could easily take care of two weeks."