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Curt Schilling on D&C: Red Sox ‘need a significantly large dose of confidence because none of them have it’ 06.30.16 at 12:02 pm ET
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Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling

Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis and Callahan with Minihane on Thursday to chat about the current state of the Red Sox and what the future should hold for manager John Farrell. To hear the full conversation, visit Dennis and Callahan’s audio on demand page.

“Here’s the thing: a team is never — especially this team right now— it’s never as bad as it looks when it’s going bad, and usually it’s not as good, they’re not as good as they are when it’s going really well,” Schilling said.

Schilling confirmed that there is a “sixth sense” players have around the clubhouse when there is suspicion that the manager is about to be fired.

“They absolutely do [recognize it],” he said. “For me it was always very personal in the sense that if someone got fired as a manager, than part of my job I wasn’t supposed to do as a player. Again your manager can’t play. So when a manager gets fired it’s because the players don’t execute and I always felt personally responsible for things like that.”

Schilling said the biggest thing with the Red Sox now, is a lack of confidence.

“These guys need a significantly large dose of confidence because none of them have it,” Schilling said. “I’ve been in a situation when a staff has gone out seven days in a row and given up runs in the first inning, it’s contagious just like hitting. And then you’ve got guys going out on the mound and going ‘Oh no’ instead of being aggressive.”

Schilling added that it would be too much to ask Farrell — who’s expertise is in pitching — to circumvent pitching coach Carl Willis and attempt to help the pitchers.

He did touch on the trouble the conflicting comments between David Price and John Farrell in which Price said he had his worst stuff while Farrell said it was his best.

“When you look at what he did yesterday, he didn’t have anything,” Schilling said. “Except maybe velocity. I don’t know. Sometimes from the side he can look better than it does, but I think what you’re seeing from John [Farrell] is one of the things he took from Tito and that’s to protect your players at all cost.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

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Read More: Curt Schilling, David Price, eduardo rodriguez, John Farrell
John Farrell on D&H details team meeting following Monday’s blowout loss to Rays 06.28.16 at 3:01 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

Red Sox manager John Farrell made his weekly appearance on Dale & Holley with Thornton on Tuesday to discuss a number of things surrounding the team, including the team meeting that was held following Monday’s 13-7 loss to the Rays. To hear the full interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

The Red Sox have now lost three straight games and six of their last eight, which made Farrell feel the need to call a team meeting after Monday night’s game.

“I felt like there were some things that needed to be expressed to our team both things that have remained positive, which the way we’ve demonstrated the way to come back probably far too often,” Farrell said. “There were some things highlighted that we’re continuing to do well. I love the effort. I love the energy. I love the work our group is putting in and the way it is showing up offensively in between the lines in game.

“I think there were some obvious things that needed to be addressed and the one thing that we’ll continue to work towards is there is no divide, no split, no pointing of fingers, that we are a team that will win together and lose together. Yes, we have areas that we need to continue to sure up and continue to improve upon. Without getting more specific, those were the things that needed to be addressed.”

Farrell also said Xander Bogaerts will get Tuesday night off as they will go up against Rays right-hander Chris Archer. The manager pointed to facing lefties both Monday and Wednesday for the shortstop playing in those games and not Tuesday. Marco Hernandez will start at shortstop in his place.

The manager also said Steven Wright would not throw a bullpen prior to Tuesday’s game and be available out of the bullpen in relief if need be.

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: John Farrell, steven wright, xander bogaerts,
Injuries, bottom of order continue to plague Red Sox during homestand 06.22.16 at 5:54 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

It’s no secret the Red Sox are struggling at the plate. They’ve scored no more than three runs in five of their last eight games, which has focused the spotlight on manager John Farrell and some of his late-game decisions.

The numbers suggest the issue isn’t managerial, however, but personnel-related — specifically, the bottom of the lineup.

The seventh, eighth, and ninth spots were a strength for two months. Brock Holt hit .306 batting seventh. Bradley flourished in the nine-hole, batting .363 in 26 starts.

However, faced with injuries to Holt (concussion), Blake Swihart (ankle) and Hanigan (neck), Farrell has been forced to use inexperienced batters in high-pressure situations, with predictably poor results, which have landed the manager on the hot seat.

“You’re trying to create some matchups in your favor,” Farrell said before Wednesday’s game. “I think that the entire intent is to get the right matchup. It’s clear that’s debatable for some, but still, you’re in a situation where you’re reliant on multiple guys, not just one individual. Not every decision was inside a vacuum, it’s within the context of the lineup, who’s available to you, and what the bottom line score is.”

An obvious example comes from Boston’s 3-1 loss to the White Sox in 10 innings on Monday night. With the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth, Farrell pinch hit Ryan LaMarre for Marco Hernandez. LaMarre, summoned from Pawtucket on Saturday, struck out on three pitches in his first at-bat this season.

Another example came Tuesday night, another 3-1 loss. Hernandez pinch hit for Deven Marrero with two outs in the ninth, and struck out swinging to end the game.

Farrell has had a difficult time navigating the bottom of the order since the injuries began to pile up. Hernandez is hitting .188 batting eighth or ninth. Marrero is 0-for-3 in the ninth spot, and LaMarre struck out his only at bat at the bottom of the order.

The Red Sox need Holt and Swihart back to bolster depth. Holt began his rehab assignment in Pawtucket on Monday, going 2-3 with two doubles. Swihart remains in a walking boot and will need to be reexamined before he is given a date to return.

“Particularly in Brock’s case, his versatility, his competitive at-bats and his baserunning, he made an impact when he was on the field,” Farrell said. “Unfortunately, injuries take guys away from you, and how guys step up to contribute in their absence, that’s a key for our team. Both guys are on the mend, looking forward to getting them back.”

Read More: blake swihart, Brock Holt, deven marrero, John Farrell
Red Sox pregame notes: David Ortiz lingering foot/heel issues are ‘real situations’ 06.21.16 at 5:25 pm ET
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David Ortiz dealing with lingering foot/heel issues. (Mark Baer/USA Today Sports)

David Ortiz dealing with lingering foot/heel issues. (Mark Baer/USA Today Sports)

Prior to Tuesday’s game, Red Sox manager John Farrell addressed some injury concerns festering the team, including one that was suspected to not be as bad as it actually is in David Ortiz’s heel and foot.

Ortiz is not in the lineup for Tuesday’s game in order to recuperate physically, as the 40-year-old is fighting off lingering foot and heel problems.

“The heel and the feet, those are real situations that he’s managing,” Farrell said. “He’s putting forth every effort with the training staff to get him ready to keep him on the field. We also monitor the number of times he’s been on base.”

Ortiz currently leads the league in extra-base hits with 48 (29 doubles, and one triple). Through June 20th of last season, he was at 21.

“When he hits the ballpark he’s going to jog,” Farrell said. “Base hit he’s probably going to go easy. It’s the home to second or first to third that’s where it really starts to pile up on David.”

Farrell added that in the Red Sox’ two remaining road interleague series this season it would be highly unlikely to for Ortiz to take the field defensively. He also noted that he has a habit of checking in on Ortiz during the middle innings to assure he is feeling okay.

The Red Sox skipper also commented on the status of injured starter Joe Kelly, currently with Triple-A Pawtucket, who is expected to start throwing off the mound this weekend.

The righty was placed on the disabled list with a Grade 1 groin strain on June 12, retroactive to June 9 while in Pawtucket following his demotion on June 2.

Said Farrell: “Long toss continues. There’s improvement with the injury that he sustained, but the bullpen is hopefully this weekend.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

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Read More: Brock Holt, David Ortiz, Joe Kelly, John Farrell
John Farrell explains decisions made in Red Sox’ extra-inning loss to White Sox 06.20.16 at 11:56 pm ET
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John Farrell explained his decision making in the Red Sox' loss to the White Sox. (Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports)

John Farrell explained his decision making in the Red Sox’ loss to the White Sox. (Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports)

The Red Sox fell to the White Sox 3-1 in 10 innings Monday night, in a game that flew by until the ninth inning and then had a number of situations unfold where manager John Farrell had to make split-second decisions.

The manager defended them after the game.

In the ninth inning with the game tied at one, starter Steven Wright was just over 100 pitches and after retiring the first batter, he allowed an infield single to Melky Cabrera and then walked Todd Frazier.

With Junichi Tazawa and Robbie Ross Jr. up in the bullpen, Farrell stuck with Wright and it paid off as he retired Brett Lawrie and Alex Avila to end the half inning.

“Even in the ninth, he gets what looked like a routine ground ball with Cabrera that Marco [Hernandez] double-pumped a little bit, but I thought he was in complete control of the game,” Farrell said.

Then things got interesting in the bottom half of the ninth as the Red Sox loaded the bases with three straight walks — Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Chris Young — against Zach Putnam. The White Sox then called on lefty Zach Duke and with Travis Shaw due up, Farrell pinch-hit Dustin Pedroia who had been given the day off.

With the White Sox having a five-man infield, all Pedroia needed to do was put the ball in play, but he struck out. Then, Christian Vazquez grounded out on a force out at home and finally, Ryan LaMarre, pinch-hitting for Hernandez, struck out in an ugly at-bat.

Farrell could have allowed Shaw to hit and saved Pedroia for another batter, but Shaw came into the game batting .156 against left-handers this year, which was the reason for pinch-hitting Pedroia.

“In the bases loaded situation against a left-hander, which obviously is a better matchup for him, that was the choice there,” Farrell said.

For his career, Pedroia is a .298 hitter with the bases loaded and doesn’t strike out very much, but couldn’t get the job done Monday.

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Red Sox pregame notes: ‘Potential [roster] changes upcoming'; Clay Buchholz still viewed as starter 06.15.16 at 5:32 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

Prior to Wednesday’s game against the Orioles, Red Sox manager John Farrell acknowledged that roster moves are on the horizon and updated the status of Clay Buchholz.

Between a lack of depth on the bench — especially from the left side of the plate — and pitcher Roenis Elias to be called up from Pawtucket on Friday, moves are expected to be made in the coming days that will shake up the look of the roster in Boston.

“We’re trying to get a left-handed compliment, and while Chris Young has done an outstanding job since taking over the everyday duties, we’re looking at how can we best match up if those needs arise late in games. And those alternatives are talked about internally,” said Farrell. “And with Roenis coming to us on Friday, we’ve got a little bit of roster — I don’t want to say shuffling — but some potential changes upcoming.”

Farrell added that while the team waits for the return of Brock Holt (concussion), they are looking at options in Pawtucket to fill their immediate needs on the bench.

He also commented on Buchholz as a reliever, and his progress to eventually find his way back into the starting rotation. Buchholz has appeared four times since being moved to the bullpen, pitching 6 1/3 innings for a 1-1 record with a 4.26 ERA. He has also held batters to a .174 average in that stretch, but did not get the nod for Friday’s start.

“I still view Clay as a starting pitcher, and yet performance is going to dictate that.” Farrell said. “He was disappointed by not being inserted in the rotation this turn through and I can respect that, but the reasons were given as to why. I will say this, since going to the bullpen, there’s every effort on his part being made to how to rectify the situations. … You see the physical abilities, the pitch mix, he’s got the tools to start, and yet the consistency was not there and that’s why he’s in the bullpen.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

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Read More: christian vazquez, Clay Buchholz, eduardo rodriguez, hanley ramirez
John Farrell on D&H: Friday’s game ‘the right opportunity’ for Roenis Elias at 4:10 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

Red Sox manager John Farrell had his weekly appearance on Dale & Holley with Thornton on Wednesday to discuss the team’s fifth starter as well as provide injury updates. To hear the full interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

The Red Sox have been getting by with just four starters as of late thanks to a number of off days, but the time has come for a fifth starter to join the team for a matchup with the Mariners on Friday. Farrell has elected to go with Pawtucket pitcher Roenis Elias, who in 10 games in Triple-A this year is 4-3 with a 3.54 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.

“I think the one thing that we look at is that [choosing a fifth starter] goes directly into the decision for the starting matchup,” Farrell said. “If you look at the performance of left-handed vs. right-handed starters, there’s a decided difference in the performance and production when they’re facing right-handed starters. The fact that Elias has thrown the ball four out of the last five starts strong and gone deep in games, we felt like this was the right opportunity to get out here.”

The decision to have Elias start Friday was made easier with Joe Kelly suffering a groin injury a few weeks ago with Pawtucket. Kelly was demoted to the Triple-A affiliate after going 2-0 with an 8.46 ERA and 2.24 WHIP in six starts with the Red Sox. It has yet to be seen what Farrell will do with Kelly once the right-hander is healthy again.

“First of all, we got to get him back to the mound,” Farrell said. “There’s no time frame because of the right groin injury he sustained his last start there. … I would not rule out the potential of him being shifted to the bullpen at some point.”

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Read More: Brock Holt, Chris Young, David Price, Joe Kelly
Red Sox lineup: Josh Rutledge starts because Travis Shaw is struggling against lefties 06.12.16 at 1:46 pm ET
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Travis Shaw

Travis Shaw

John Farrell isn’t ready to call it a platoon, but he had to do something about Travis Shaw’s slump against left-handed pitching.

With Shaw hitting just .146 (6-for-41) against southpaws and the Red Sox facing Minnesota’s Pat Dean on Sunday, Farrell benched his starting third baseman in favor of Josh Rutledge.

“I don’t know about a platoon,” Farrell told reporters in Minnesota. “For the time being, with what Travis is going through, just trying to get him on track. He’s been pitched to here. Left-handers have given him something to contend with. It keeps Rut involved. That’s what we’re going to today.”

Rutledge is hitting .385 in limited exposure to lefties this year (5-for-13). Rutledge is a .258 lifetime hitter vs. lefties with a .728 OPS.

Rutledge will bat ninth. Otherwise the lineup remains the same.

In other news, Farrell isn’t ready to name a fifth starter when the Red Sox need one later this week. Clay Buchholz, Roenis Elias, and Henry Owens remain candidates with Joe Kelly injured. The Red Sox host the division-leading Orioles and Mariners this week.

“The main thing is you go into those series, and we’re going to get two teams back-to-back that are extremely tough, offensive lineups,” Farrell told reporters. “You’re hopeful that your starter goes in and controls the game to a certain point. That’s going to include having to pitch to both sides of the plate rather than stay in one area. That’s what allows a bullpen to come in and be successful, is that the starter has established the use of both sides and they don’t lock in on one attack plan. It’s on the starters to allow that bullpen to be a little bit more effective.”

Here’s Sunday’s lineup, with Rick Porcello starting against the last-place Twins:

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Chris Young LF
Josh Rutledge 3B
Christian Vazquez C

Read More: John Farrell, Josh Rutledge, Red Sox, Travis Shaw benched
John Farrell on D&H: Travis Shaw to start on bench against Madison Bumgarner; Christian Vazquez in ‘learning phase’ regarding pitch-calling 06.08.16 at 2:52 pm ET
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John Farrell

John Farrell

Speaking during his weekly appearance on Dale & Holley with Thornton, Red Sox manager John Farrell said Travis Shaw will start Wednesday night’s game on the bench, with Josh Rutledge getting the start at third base against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. To hear the full interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Shaw has played in all 58 Red Sox games this season. Besides the fact that the lefty Bumgarner will be on the mound, the Sox third baseman has struggled of late, hitting just .182 with a .521 OPS over his last 19 games.

Farrell noted that he had no news on Joe Kelly’s injured groin, pointing out that the pitcher was being evaluated at Fenway Park Wednesday.

Kelly left his start in Pawtucket Tuesday night with two outs in the fifth inning, favoring his right leg while backing up home plate on a sacrifice fly. The starter had given up three runs over 4 2/3 innings.

He also relayed that no decision had been made in regard to who might make the start on June 18, which is thought to be the next time the Red Sox need a No. 5 starter.

“We’re looking at internal candidates, all of them,” Farrell said. “If you look at the matchup against Seattle, you see some strengths against the right-handers, you see maybe some advantages you can take if it’s a left-handed starter. We’re looking at every internal candidate to make that start.”

Asked about Christian Vazquez’s pitch-calling, Farrell noted how that the catcher still is in a “learning phase” when it comes to such execution, particularly with runners on base.

“There’s been times where its been a learning curve for him,” Farrell said. “One of the things that we’ve looked at and looked at internally is the number that he’s caught by bigger innings that we surrendered. That is something that we’ve got to continue to manage a little better and that comes down to maybe at times going less than more. What I mean by that is if you go offspeed vs. just your power, where hitters are maybe geared up a little bit more, try to use that aggressiveness to our advantage. Again, as we talked about with Eddy [Rodriguez], Christian is in that learning phase, and that’s on all of us to continue to work to improve upon.”

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Read More: christian vazquez, Joe Kelly, John Farrell, travis shaw
David Ortiz: ‘Nobody is ever going to forget’ Muhammad Ali’s impact 06.04.16 at 4:45 pm ET
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David Ortiz

David Ortiz

On the day following Muhammad Ali’s passing, many have recalled their memories of one of the greatest boxers of all-time.

David Ortiz was one of them, as he gave his thoughts on Ali before Saturday’s game with the Blue Jays.

“[He] was a person, his career, the way he did things, the way things went down … nobody is ever going to forget that,” Ortiz said to reporters.

Ortiz added even people who weren’t alive during Ali’s greatest years will find out just how great and impactful he was.

“I think right now with all the ways people have to learn and get to know things, especially on a day like today, the day he passed away, the younger people that don’t know much about it, they are going to be Googling his name and figuring things out,” he added.

Manager John Farrell also shared his memories of the boxer.

“I can remember as a kid, 9 or 10 years old, my dad was a fan of boxing, so to see some of his matches being televised — he was certainly a controversial figure in some people’s minds,” Farrell said. “He was clear to talk about how good he was. But the thing you remember most is, it’s almost like every big match he had had its own name, whether it’s ‘The Fight,’ or ‘The Thrilla in Manila,’ anything like that.”

“Personally, not knowing what Islam was about and to see someone change his name and become so familiar with that — that was a major shift in trying to get an understanding of what (Islam) was as a kid,” Farrell added. “It was very different, very unique.”

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: David Ortiz, John Farrell,
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