Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino told WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan this morning that he still thinks it’s “too early to put a definitive conclusion to this season” or to make a final evaluation as to whether the team’s offseason moves were wise. That being said, he also acknowledged that at least some judgments will need to be made in short order, as the trade deadline looms.
Here’s the latest out of Boston and the rest of the American League East:
- As the Red Sox come out of the break, hopeful of maintaining a recent surge, the club faces tough questions regarding the management of Eduardo Rodriguez’s workload, writes Rob Bradford of WEEI.com. Rodriguez has been a huge boon to the team’s chances, but has yet to top 145 innings as a professional. Boston has yet to arrive at a number that the 22-year-old will be allowed to approach this year, according to pitching coach Carl Willis, but expects to at some point. “We’ve looked into it, really just scratching the surface, looking at his innings, looking at the schedule going forward to kind of be prepared when that time starts to present itself,” says Willis. “Knowing how to manage it, whether it be moving him back in the rotation, or utilizing off days. Obviously how we’re playing as a club factors in, but the most important of the equation is Eddie and keeping him going through the end of the season, wanting him to pitch through to the end. Collectively [manager] John [Farrell], myself, [GM] Ben [Cherington], we’ll look at that. But his best interest takes precedence.” While Boston wants to be mindful of the hope of having him in the postseason, per Willis, it has a long road even to get there.
- The Orioles do not seem to have the same overall chemistry that they have in years past, Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun writes. While Baltimore has frequently utilized roster moves in recent seasons to squeeze value out of its payroll, without ill effect, Schmuck now sees signs of friction. As he puts it, the “emotional equation” is different this year with several veterans being cut loose and numerous others playing in contract years. (Two examples cited are the roster-driven Wei-Yin Chen optional assignment and the question of moving Bud Norris to the pen.) It’s an interesting piece regarding a hard-to-assess element of the transactional process.
- One area that has not worked out as hoped for the Orioles is the outfield, as Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun explains. It was never going to be easy for the team to fill in for departed veterans Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis, but the team’s efforts have obviously not quite panned out — as demonstrated by the fact that both Alejandro De Aza and Delmon Young ended up on the DFA ledger. Now, despite having a variety of options still on the roster, executive VP Dan Duquette indicates to Connolly that an outfield addition is on the table.
- Looking ahead by looking back, the Yankees are more likely to attack the deadline with their purse than their prospects, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Taking on big contracts in exchange for lesser-regarded prospects has become a Brian Cashman MO, says Sherman. And the team has also tended to eschew the acquisition of major stars in favor of adding useful pieces to deepen its roster. Sherman says he expects a quiet deadline this time around.