And although seven weeks still remain before the July 31 trade deadline, it’s never too soon for Cherington to huddle with his scouting staff, burn his cell phone minutes talking with rival GMs and plot a course for how best to make impactful midseason changes to the roster.
“I still feel that there is a very good team here, that our current record doesn’t reflect what this team can be,” Cherington said during a lengthy phone conversation this week. “That said, our record is what it is, and it’s not good enough. At some point, we’ve got to start winning more games. I believe we’ll do that.”
“That’s the area where we have guys that, if they can perform at their level, the team will improve,” Cherington said. “We don’t need career performances. We just need guys to be what they normally are. We would expect that group to perform, just because they always have. There’s reason for optimism, but we can still get a little bit more from that part of the team.”
Here, though, is the most encouraging note for Cherington: Eventually, the cavalry will return.
Herald - Ben Cherington keeps faith
The last two or three seasons, we've been hearing the same mantra from the Sox this time of year. They don't need to be buyers in the trade market. The players we have returning from injury will be the same as completing dozens of blockbuster trades for perennial All-Stars.
And while there is some truth to that, I want to see this front office get aggressive. Starting with Youk.
On Wednesday, Cherington was on the Mut & Merloni show and said that there was "nothing going on" in the Youk trade market, and that they were focused on getting him going. I don't know that I buy any of that. Sounds like GM-speak to me. I think there's a ton going on with Youk, but due to his lack of production, no one is willing to come close to Ben's asking price.
Just rip the band-aid off. Youk's awful demeanor is a problem in the dugout. His playing is making the Sox do odd things with their lineup. His play in the field is sub-par at best. Like Nomar, moving Youk is addition by subtraction. You let Middlebrooks get his reps. You can move Adrian back to first (and take advantage of his golden glove). And, well, Darnell McDonald gets to keep doing Darnell McDonald things.
But if we want to have any hope of making the postseason this year, just waiting for Ellsbury and Crawford to suit up isn't going to be enough.
On Page 2, Tzu-Wei Lin, come on down, er, over!
The Red Sox are close to signing Taiwanese short stop Tzu-Wei Lin of Taiwan, according to reports. Lin probably isn't going to do all that much damage at the dish with his power, but he was ranked 18th out of this year's top 20 international prosepcts back in April, according to MLB.com.
From Hardball Talk:
Lin, a left-handed hitter, was rumored to be signing with the Yankees in 2010, but at 16 then, Taiwan declared him too young to turn pro. Now 18, he's set to receive a bonus about six times as great as the one the Yankees were set to give him.
Welcome to the Red Sox organization, Mr. Tzu-Wei Lin. But you'd better watch your back. The shortstop position in this town is already spoken for.
I've got my eye on you....
Rest of the links:
Herald -Kevin Youkilis dilemma lingers |Dale Sveum setting tone in Chicago | Globe -In a lengthy interview, Theo Epstein discusses the challenge in Chicago and his legacy in Boston | Pitching matchups for the Cubs series | CSNNE -How has Cherington fared so far? | WEEI - Bard fans four in two shutout innings | Time for Adrian to go off: Could Wrigley's friendly confines be antidote for slugger's struggles? |