|John Farrell on Hot Stove Show: Winter ball still up in air for Hanley Ramirez||11.25.15 at 9:29 am ET|
Much was made of the report from ESPN Deportes that Hanley Ramirez might be playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic.
“We met with Hanley before we broke away for the final game of the season. Like every player, there was a very specific physical plan put in place,” he said. “We wanted to make sure we met those goals, and Hanley met those goals, in terms of getting the low back, the shoulder, some of the physical ailments we needed to address, getting to an optimum playing weight. We’ve had people in to visit with him. His work has been great this winter. It’s all in line with what our offseason goals have been.
“Before we even approach the winter ball, we want to be sure he addressed the physical things. And he’s doing that. I don’t know we’ve had this conversation whether or not he’s going to play winter ball yet. Our goal is to make sure he’s ready for us and plays as many games as possible at first base next year.”
Ramirez hadn’t played since Aug. 26, having had his season shut down due to a right shoulder issue. As Farrell pointed out, the first baseman also was managing lower back pain, which had somewhat limited his workouts at his new position throughout the season’s final month.
Speaking to ESPN Deportes, it appeared as though Ramirez was set on joining Licey of the Dominican Winter League.
“People don’t know this, but I will be playing in the Dominican Republic in the coming weeks,” Ramirez said in Spanish. “This is what I’m preparing for. I think it’s something that will help prepare me better to play first base.”
There’s still a long way to go in this offseason, but the plan right now appears to have Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field for the Red Sox.
Speaking on the Hot Stove Show Tuesday night, Red Sox manager John Farrell said that if the offensive production from all three outfielders were at an acceptable level, the team would be putting Mookie Betts in right field, Bradley in center and Rusney Castillo in left field.
“I think if you were to just prioritize the defense, Jackie is the best defensive outfielder we have. That’s clear,” Farrell said. “Whether it’s the naked eye, or whether it’s to any kind of measurement you want to put to it, Jackie is the best defender we have. So you could say an alignment would have Jackie in center, Mookie in right and Rusney in left. Who else we add to the outfielder core to give us some balance coming off the bench remains to be seen. But the one thing that Jackie did, particularly in August, is that he swung the bat like we were hopeful of. It was an outstanding month. And I think the key for Jackie is going to be: Hit enough to be an everyday player, and then here’s an everyday center fielder.
“The one thing I will say is that we will continue to strive to get the most consistent defensive team up the middle that we can be. If you combine some of the offensive contributions to this, Mookie had an outstanding year offensively. He’s earned that everyday spot. This is something we’ll go into spring training, we’re going to take a look at both guys in center field and we know what they can do. It is going to come down to who plays and who produces offensively that we’ll give the most reps in center field.”
Betts had been the team’s primary center fielder, having played a team-leading 133 games at the position in 2015 before manning right for 11 games.
Bradley, considered one of the best defenders in the major leagues, forced his way into the conversation with a standout offensive performance throughout most of August. From Aug. 7 until Sept. 7, the outfielder hit .422 with a 1.358 OPS over 27 games.
|John Farrell: Red Sox expecting Hanley Ramirez to play ‘140-plus’ games at first base next season||11.12.15 at 9:47 am ET|
On Wednesday, Red Sox manager John Farrell joined Dale & Holley at Mohegan Sun and besides discussing his cancer treatment, which is now in remission, he also talked about team matters as it relates to the offseason.
One of the biggest storylines of the offseason is Hanley Ramirez, as he will shift to first base from left field. In his first year with the Red Sox, Ramirez hit .249 with 19 home runs and 53 RBIs and only 12 doubles.
With his issues in left field, the team is hoping transitioning to first base will work out better both for he and the team.
“Certainly that is what has been outlined to him, that he is going to shift to first base next year,” Farrell said. “There are some specific things that have already been given to him, both before he left Boston — there has been a recent meeting with Dave [Dombrowski] and there will be a follow up one with me a little bit later on with just what we need to get accomplished with a physical standpoint to give him that physical foundation.
“He’s going to need to play 140-plus games at first base next year. That means there is going to be a little bit of a different physical toll than one in left field. We need that bat in the lineup to be the hitter he’s been. That has been high doubles, maybe 20 home runs. We’re not looking for a guy that is going to hit 30-40 home runs, but what Hanley Ramirez has produced over the course of his career. We need to get him back to that level. He’s ours and that is what we’re gearing everything towards.”
With the Red Sox finishing in last place the last two years and three of the last four, there are plenty of improvements that need to be made.
“I think our efforts are going to have to center around improving our pitching,” Farrell said. “That’s where things will start. You look at April and then we went through a two month stretch where offensively we didn’t perform as we anticipated. Coming out of the All-Star break, after that initial road trip out on the West Coast where it was abysmal, we started to swing the bat and score runs like we were capable of. We finished in the top five in the league in offense. I think on the whole, offensively we performed to where we felt we could.
“In terms of pitching we need to be more consistent. The way the guys in the rotation threw the ball the last six weeks of the season is probably more indicative of their capabilities, but we have a bullpen to reconstruct and we have to perform better in that rotation from start to finish.”
Farrell said the team could acquire players both via trade or free agency, as the Red Sox are in a good position to do both.
Red Sox manager John Farrell joined the Dale & Holley show on Wednesday live from Mohegan Sun to discuss his treatment for stage 1 lymphoma, which is now in remission, and also to discuss the team’s plans for the offseason. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
On Aug. 14 Farrell was diagnosed with stage 1 Non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt lymphoma and after a few months of treatment on Oct. 21 tests showed his cancer was in remission.
“The last couple of months have been very different,” Farrell said. “I’ve been very fortunate in a lot of ways. From the early diagnosis, the staging that was done, Dr. Jeremy Abramson at MGH and his incredible talents to have me in remission. I can tell you that 24 hours from the time you get a scan until the news you receive is filled with some anxiety, but not many better words can be said when he said everything was clean.”
On a road trip in early August, Farrell was told he needed hernia surgery and it was during that surgery the cancer was found and Farrell was told the news.
“I said, ‘Doc, I think you just hit me in the forehead with a sledgehammer.’ I was probably in denial the first week,” Farrell said. “There’s no doubt about it because that was on Monday. Tuesday I flew back to Miami to rejoin the team and was there for the two-game series against the Marlins and came back to Boston for a full day of examination on that Thursday, the off-day. That is when the slides came back 100 percent sure that you have Burkitt lymphoma. Then quickly you’re in the midst of all this information being thrust upon you. I had to ask the doc just to stop for a moment so I could take a breath. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, yet alone being diagnosed, what was coming down. Four days after that I am in 12 hours of chemo. It was happening at lightning speed so denial probably got me through the first week.”
Farrell went through three cycles of chemotherapy, with each cycle being different mentally.
“You go through some stages,” he said. “I think with each cycle, there were three cycles that I went through. With each cycle here were different phases mentally as you went through it. The first time through you don’t know what to expect. The second time through you’re in the heart of it and it’s not a whole lot of fun knowing there is another cycle out there waiting to be administered at some point. That’s the low point. Then you finally get into that third cycle, and fortunately in my case there were only three cycles needed. Dealing with an aggressive form of lymphoma, it was an aggressive regimen of chemo, basically in a nutshell, six months of chemo in roughly seven and a half weeks. There was a lot given in a short given in a short period of time, but thankfully it worked out well.”
|Red Sox announce John Farrell’s cancer is in remission||10.22.15 at 5:37 pm ET|
After undergoing tests at Massachusetts General Hospital Wednesday, John Farrell received news that his cancer is in remission. Farrell, who was informed of the diagnosis earlier Thursday, has been battling stage 1 Non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt lymphoma since learning he had the disease on Aug. 14.
“I am extremely thankful for the outpouring of support I have received from the Red Sox, my family, friends and fans throughout this process,” Farrell stated in a press release. “I am also especially thankful for the talented doctors who cared for me in Detroit and here at MGH. I look forward to getting back to work and bringing another championship to Boston.”
Assuming his health keeps trending in the right direction, Farrell has been told by Red Sox president of baseball operations that he will return as manager of the Red Sox. Interim manager Torey Lovullo inked a new contract to remain Farrell’s bench coach, mandating he not interview for any major league managerial openings for 2016.
Farrell has continued to be a mainstay at Fenway Park throughout his chemotherapy treatment, both during the regular season and into the offseason.
“We are thrilled to hear the great news about John today,” Dombrowski added in the release. “Foremost, we are extremely happy for him and his family, knowing what he has gone through over the past two months. We all admire him for his strength and courage, and look forward to having him back as our manager.”
Farrell is scheduled to hold a conference call with the media Friday, at 1 p.m.
|Curt Schilling on D&C: Expecting to return to ESPN broadcast booth next season||10.08.15 at 8:23 am ET|
ESPN analyst and former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling joined Dennis & Callahan with Minihane Thursday morning to discuss the postseason and his current situation with ESPN. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Schilling has been taken off the ESPN game broadcasts following a controversial tweet. In his place has been former softball player Jessica Mendoza. The New York Times has called for Mendoza to replace Schilling for next season, but the former Red Sox pitcher says as far as he knows he will be back next year.
In the meantime, Schilling has been doing shows in studio for the network.
“As far as I know everything is going to be normal next year, get back to that,” Schilling said. “A couple of things: First off, I don’t blame [The New York Times], they are still bitter. It was 11 years ago that we did it, but they are fans of a team that offered the biggest choke in the history of sports. They will always be bitter and I am alright with that.
“Jessica is not bad at it. I thought she was good, real good. I thought that she was there, not because she’s the first woman to every do it, I thought she was good. I thought she was kind of a hidden gem on the women’s softball thing and in getting to do that and get exposed to that she can do this. I listen to her talk to guys in spring training about hitting and she did some different pieces for Baseball Tonight during spring training and she is as knowledgeable about putting the barrel of a bat on the ball as anybody I’ve ever heard speak about it.”
“No. Listen, until the day I die I will still be of the mind that John Farrell is overqualified to do anything in the game,” he said. “I still think he’s one of the most amazing people. I think in-game management is an issue. I think something he needs to get better at, but he’s as good of a communicator and presence as anybody I’ve ever known in the sport.”
Farrell recently finished treatment for Stage 1 lymphoma. Schilling, a mouth cancer survivor, isn’t sure how Farrell will be once spring training rolls around in the spring.
|Torey Lovullo on D&H: Discussion to move Hanley Ramirez to first ‘had been taking place for a period of time’||08.26.15 at 4:44 pm ET|
Interim manager Torey Lovullo made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show on Wednesday afternoon before the third game of the Red Sox‘ series with the White Sox. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
Though Hanley Ramirez only began taking ground balls at first base Tuesday, Lovullo said that the discussion to move him there “had been taking place for a period of time.” It wasn’t until Dave Dombrowski joined the organization that those discussions actually came to fruition.
“Dave came on board and thought a little bit more of it and gave his perspective and we just thought once we could move forward and try and figure out what’s best for the Boston Red Sox,” Lovullo said. “We wanted to have this option. We wanted to see what it looks like, we want to get him over there and just get him familiar with the position and see where it leads.
“Part of the equation was to bring Hanley in on that. True to form, Hanley’s on board. He said he’ll do anything to help the ball club move in a good position, and we’ll see where we’re at. Nothing is imminent, there’s no time frame, we just want to get him familiar with it. It also would allow us to get a good look at three of the young outfielders that are very exciting and on the rise, so a lot of reasons for it, what direction it goes has not been determined, but it’s an option that we’d like to have.”
That decision wasn’t Dombrowski’s alone, but Lovullo said he brought it up almost immediately upon his arrival and brought it to the foreground.
“It was one of the first things that he talked about,” he said. “He presented to us, and he wanted to know what we thought about, and he comes into these conversations brand new with an experienced set of eyes. The one thing that he stated was that, from the other side of the dugout, Hanley Ramirez is a very potent offensive force. When he’s swinging the bat well, he’s a middle-of-the-lineup run-producer, and Dave brought that to our attention and said that we have that guy right now, so he kind of threw it on us that he felt strongly that we should take a look over there. And like I said, before Dave came on board, it was a discussion that we would have internally and something that we were kicking around, but with his expertise and new set of eyes, it made it a little bit clearer for all of us.”
|John Farrell, Torey Lovullo meet with Dave Dombrowski||08.21.15 at 5:27 pm ET|
A week after announcing he had Stage 1 lymphoma and three days after undergoing his first chemotherapy treatment, he was in full uniform for the Red Sox‘ team photo.
“He’s doing well,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said. “Obviously a little fatigue as we expected, but he’s such a horse and wants to be around and part of this despite that fatigue. It’s great to see him. It’s great to have him around and it’s great to have baseball conversation with him, but the best thing about it is it’s great to see him laugh and smile.”
Lovullo also said he and Farrell met with new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski on Thursday.
“I had a chance to sit down with him yesterday and go over a couple of key guys — John, myself and Dave,” Lovullo said. “Just normal baseball conversation about some of our young players. I think he’s just trying to get a feel for our guys through our eyes. That’s how it works in baseball. You sit down and try and get as familiar as you possibly can, as quickly as you possibly can.
“It was nice to sit down and give our perspective. It was good baseball conversion. It was very typical of what happens in those settings.”
Dombrowski was officially introduced Wednesday afternoon and is now trying to do his best to learn as much as he can about the current Red Sox players before the season ends to help him with building 2016’s team.
Lovullo said there wasn’t much difference in their thoughts on certain players.
“I think it’s pretty close,” he said. “John and I were able to do most of the talking and filling in a times. Dave gives great baseball perspective. I think he’s trying to get as much as he can as fast as he can. We were able to fill in a lot of those gaps.”
|Dave Dombrowski: ‘I’m not here to blow up the operation'; Plans on meeting with John Farrell||08.19.15 at 3:10 pm ET|
With new president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski coming in and being formally introduced at a press conference on Wednesday, many have wondered what this means for current members of the baseball ops team.
Ben Cherington has already said he will no longer work with the team following the season, as he will help with the transition.
Dombrowski had many people working in Detroit under him that he had worked with for a long time. He said Wednesday he doesn’t want to “blow up the operation.”
“I think it’s important to know and I’ve talked to some people in the front office very quickly in the baseball end of it and I’m not here to blow up the operation,” Dombrowski said. “There’s a lot of good people here. They have good reputations. When I originally went to Detroit we kept everybody there and evaluated them over a time period. I think it’s a situation where I look to hopefully enhance what we have and work together closely and we if we can add people to the organization from wherever it may be, we’re open-minded to that. I hope that most of the people here will be in a position to stay and be able to help.”
Manager John Farrell worked closely with Cherington and while Farrell is currently being treated for Stage 1 lymphoma, Dombrowski was able to connect with him Tuesday night.
Dombrowski said him getting healthy is the number one priority.
“I think first and foremost and I don’t know John real well, we’ve crossed paths — we know each other a little bit. I wouldn’t say we know each other real well,” he said. “I told him first and foremost you need to take care of your health and that’s the most important thing. He’s a very respected individual in the game and I don’t even think at this point — as I told him, ‘You take care of yourself. When you have an opportunity to visit in person, you call me and let me know and we’ll work out on getting together.’
“He thought he would be able to visit by the end of this homestand so we’ll sit down and visit just really to get to know each other even better and get his feeling on the ball club.”
|Torey Lovullo on John Farrell: ‘Having him around right now really good for all of us’||08.16.15 at 3:02 pm ET|
But well beyond the score, Farrell has been able to provide some added insight, especially on the pitching side, to individual performances. With the game slowed down on television in his office, Farrell has watched Joe Kelly and Wade Miley more closely and those observations can be of benefit to interim manager Torey Lovullo down the road.
“He’s able to see the game from the camera’s view, from a different view,” Lovullo said Sunday. “He’s seeing some things that are pretty enlightening, mostly from a pitching standpoint. He’s sharp all the way around but when you talk about pitching and mechanics, he’s spot on. He’s watching some things and recognizing some things from some of our pitchers. After the game, it’s mostly about what happened, how it happened, what were some of the thoughts and just connecting with him the best way we can to get his perspective. The best part of my day is walking in and seeing him smile and laugh. So, having him around right now is really good for all of us.”
As for the video element, most coaches use it as a tool already. But when watching the game on TV, Farrell is able to see things in real time that he can’t see from the dugout.
“Video brings a whole new element to what we’re able see and how we’re able to view the game,” Lovullo said. “We have a very limited view. We’re kind of boxed in here in Boston and it gets to be challenging at times. We’re conditioned to pick up things, no matter where we’re at and whatever our angle is. If we happen to see something, we can go into that video component. We can figure out what’s going on and what’s happened. There’s a lot of eyes on these guys at all times. It can be challenging. The stimulus is gone. It’s just relaxed point of view and I think he’s able to see things a little bit differently because of a combination of things.”
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