John Farrell on D&H: Dustin Pedroia ‘playing at 100 percent as far as I know’
|07.23.14 at 4:18 pm ET|
Red Sox manager John Farrell joined Dale & Holley on Wednesday afternoon to discuss Jake Peavy‘s performance on the mound, Dustin Pedroia‘s health and Christian Vazquez‘s reputation behind the plate. To listen to the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
If anyone would want the opportunity to hit the reset button on the 2014 season, it would have to be Peavy, who is 1-9 with a 4.72 ERA over 20 starts this year. Peavy has lost nine consecutive decisions, tying for the most ever by a former Cy Young Award winner.
Despite his lackluster numbers, Peavy often has been done in by the Red Sox lineup, as the righty is last in the AL in run-support average at 3.15.
“We recognize full where the record stands, but there’s been a number of games in which he’s carried a quality start into the seventh or eighth inning with really not much to show for, and I can’t say it’s just because of a lack of run support,” Farrell said. “Have there been things on a shared responsibly? Without question. But I can tell you that he’s pitched better than the record that he’s showing today.”
Farrell continued: “You look at the last start he made down in Houston where he’s walking out into the eighth inning in a one-run game or 2-2 tie, things don’t happen quite right. We leave 13 men on base. If there’s a base hit somewhere in there, we’re probably not having this same conversation, but that’s the reality of things. I thought through five innings last night, Jake probably had his best breaking ball of the season.”
While ESPN’s Buster Olney noted earlier Wednesday that rival scouts are concerned that Pedroia‘s all-out play could have an negative effect on his career, Farrell said that Pedroia is healthy, despite dealing with an 0-for-17 skid.
“He’s playing at 100 percent as far as I know. I see him every day; every player has got maintenance work that they do in the training room, which he goes through,” Farrell said. “Is his style of play more taxing physically? It might be. But I know that seeing him when he gets to the ballpark here at 1 in the afternoon, the early work that he goes through, that’s tapered off as we get deeper into the season. … Dustin’s got an off day coming up here as well. Even though we’re coming out of the All-Star Break, we’ve still got to be mindful of the number of consecutive days, and that’s part of the balancing act when it gets to this part of the season.”
With their next 11 games against AL East opponents, the Red Sox have entered a crucial part of the season that Farrell acknowledged could be the deciding factor on whether to raise the white flag on the 2014 campaign and affect the team’s decisions at next week’s trade deadline.
“We know that the games leading up to the end of this month are going to put us in a position where either we’ve closed ground on those ahead of us or we’ve maintained, and that’s where we’ve got to be brutally honest with ourselves and objective to the steps that are taken,” Farrell said. “But I will say this, that doesn’t necessarily mean we wouldn’t be a buyer. If it’s a player that becomes available to us that we can build beyond 2014, I don’t think we’d be hesitant to make that trade.”
Despite playing in just five games this season, Vazquez has impressed both Farrell and the Red Sox pitching corps with his maturity and willingness to help out his teammates on the mound.
“I think that it shows in the way he goes about not only receiving, but the way he blocks balls and keep in mind, this isn’t someone we just inserted that we had no history with. The last two spring trainings, he’s been in our camp, so guys are aware of him prior to coming here. It’s just the regular season in-game relationship that’s in the process of being established. … I think what he’s doing is not a surprise. … Things that stand out to me in postgame comments are his willingness to go to the mound, regardless of who’s on the mound … and he gives his honest feedback. That’s, I think, the beauty of Christian Vazquez in his own self-confidence in those moments.”
For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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