|Bobby Valentine: ‘I didn’t have a major plan’ for losing Jacoby Ellsbury and Andrew Bailey||04.30.12 at 7:08 pm ET|
No one would blame Bobby Valentine for what happened to the Red Sox in the first two weeks of the season when he lost his projected closer Andrew Bailey to UCL surgery after injuring his thumb.
No one would come down hard on the Red Sox skipper for losing his starting center fielder and leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury when Reid Brignac fell on his right shoulder on April 13, partially dislocating it.
But Valentine came down hard on himself Monday for not being prepared to deal with the Ellsbury and Bailey injuries and the struggles of set-up man Mark Melancon.
“I’m reading reports every day,” Valentine said when asked a simple question about the bullpen roles coming together. “I have the to ‘D’ ABCD plans, the what-ifs. You try to have what-ifs. To tell you the truth, I didn’t have what-ifs at the beginning of the season and I’m kicking myself for it.
“The outfield and the bullpen. I didn’t have a major plan for not having Ellsbury. My fault. I should’ve. And two-deep in the bullpen, the two guys we traded during in the wintertime, I figured one of them would be pitching in the ninth inning come April 13th.”
The bullpen is coming off a seven-game stretch in Minnesota and Chicago where the ERA was 1.06, allowing just two earned runs in 17 innings, striking out 13 in the process.
After the disaster of April 21, the 15-9 debacle against the Yankees, Valentine said he’s finally adjusted to adjusting on the fly.
“Absolutely, that’s what we’re doing, that’s what I’m doing,” Valentine said. “And you have to have plans. I’m kicking myself a little. I didn’t have a great plan. But it’s coming into fruition now. On the fly, the plan seems to be working.”
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