DiSarcina eager for new role with Red Sox

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DiSarcina eager for new role with Red Sox

PAWTUCKET, R.I. Saying he might need to brush off the cobwebs, Gary DiSarcina is resuming his managerial career, taking over the helm of Triple-A Pawtucket, after being out of the dugout and out of the Red Sox organization for the past two seasons.

DiSarcina, who was introduced Friday afternoon during a press conference at McCoy Stadium, had been with the Angels the past two seasons, after being in the Sox organization the previous five years.

He joined the Sox in November 2006, when he was named a baseball operations consultant, From 2007-09 he managed Low-A Lowell, where he compiled a record of 125-99 and led the Spinners to Stedler Division titles in 2008 and 2009. In 2010 he was the Sox minor league infield coordinator. He was also on the coaching staff for Team Italy for the 2006 World Baseball Classic.

In November 2010, DiSarcina left the Sox to join the Angels, the team for which he played his entire 12-season big league career. He was the Angels minor-league field coordinator last season before being named special assistant to the general manager in October, a position he also held in 2011.

Were obviously very familiar with Gary from his past experience with us, said Ben Crockett, Sox director of player development. He brings a wealth of knowledge from a long playing career. He served as an excellent manager and coordinator for us. He went on to some bigger experience with the Angels, working with the big league club as well as overseeing the farm system. So I think he comes back to us with a lot of experience thats going to serve this Pawtucket club well. Were really excited to have Gary back in the system.

General manager Ben Cherington said the organization was looking for a way to get DiSarcina back since he left. The Sox met with DiSarcina about the job during the winter meetings in Nashville last week.

Hes a guy we have a lot of respect for, Cherington said. It was hard for him because I think hes got loyalty to both organizations. He was a player in the Angels organization. Hes got loyalty to that organization. I think hes loyal to the Red Sox, too, because this is where he started his post-playing career, and obviously a guy thats from around here.

I think we were looking for someone to go to Triple-A who understood our core philosophy, understood what its like to be in Boston, to play in Boston, what preparing players to play in Boston is all about, someone we trusted and someone weve worked with in the past. So, we looked at a number of candidates but we felt like if we could get him back, he would be the right guy. And were fortunate that we could do that.

After filling in for the Angels Double-A manager for four games this season, he realized he wanted to eventually get back into the dugout. But, he said, he wouldnt have left the Angels for any other organization besides the Sox. The Billerica native, who now lives on the South Shore, has two kids, the youngest a freshman in high school.

While he is familiar with the organization from his previous tenure, he knows his new job will have its specific challenges, along with those a manager at any level faces.

Probably just knocking the cobwebs off a little bit. I think spring training will be great for that, he said. A big adjustment will be talking to the front office more. Talking to Sox manager John Farrell and bench coach Torey Lovullo when they call down more, just getting a little more adjusted to talking to the front office people, because when youre in Lowell your days are pretty much set out, you know who youre pitching, you know how its going, you dont talk to the front office as much at that lower level. Just to be more interactive with those guys.

DiSarcina, 45, ended his playing career in 2002 appearing in 35 games with the PawSox.

DiSarcina is replacing Arnie Beyeler who was promoted to first base coach for the major league team. DiSarcina cited Beyeler for helping him when he began managing in Lowell.

Arnie helped me out tremendously when I first went up to manage Lowell, DiSarcina said. I basically went up to Portland where Beyeler was managing the Double-A team at the time and shadowed him for four or five days. He was a tremendous help.

DiSarcina, who said he ultimately would like to manage at the big league level, learned a major lesson from his time in Lowell.

That I could do it. That was probably the most important thing that I learned, that first day I managed my first game I was nervous as hell, I walked in the dugout and I was nervous, the nerves went away right after that first pitch was gone. I dont care how many years you played in the big leagues, how many years you played in the minor leagues that first managing gig youre nervous. The game speeds up on you really quick. It took me a week or two just to settle down and get into a routine. But just that I could do it.

Three things we learned from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Twins

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Three things we learned from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Twins

Three Things we learned from the Boston Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins:

1) It only seems like David Ortiz can come through every time.

When Ortiz comes to the plate as he did Friday night -- bases loaded, no out, bottom of the ninth, Red Sox trailing by a run -- it seems like a win is a fait accompli.

"I think everybody in the ballpark just assumed this one might have a chance to be ended right there,'' said John Farrell. "He's been so big for us that everybody in the dugout felt the same way -- confident that the stage was set for him to come through with another dramatic moment.''

Instead, Ortiz rolled over a ground ball to second, and with the Twins infield drawn in, it was enough to turn a 4-2-3 double play that took the starch out of the inning for the Sox.

If anything, though, the inning revealed how remarkable Ortiz has been so often. It's not easy to come through even most times, and it's certainly far from automatic.

"The pitcher (closer Brandon Kintzler) made good pitches,'' said Ortiz. "That's the name of the game. I'm always looking forward to something happening. It just doesn't work out all the time.''

2) Eduardo Rodriguez has his slider back.

When Rodriguez endured a rough stretch in late May and June, he seemed to all but abandon his slider, relying almost exclusively on his two-seam fastball and changeup.

But since returning from a stint in Pawtucket, Rodriguez has flashed the slider that made him so effective as a rookie last season.

"Since he's come back,'' said Farrell, "he's added much more depth. He's able to get to the back foot of some righthanders for some swing-and-miss. He was on the plate with three quality pitches for strikes tonight.''

"I feel like I can locate it better, where I want it,'' confirmed Rodriguez. "Outside, inside corner...I'm getting more confident in it. I think I got out of my mind the tipping (pitches) stuff and all that stuff and I'm just working to throw the ball right where I want it.''

It's almost impossible for a starter in the big leagues to survive with just two pitches, as Rodriguez was attempting to do earlier this season. And it seems foolish to even try, given that Rodriguez's slider can be a plus-pitch for him at times.

3) If Mookie Betts has to miss some time, the Red Sox have options in right field.

Farrell said Betts has been dealing with soreness and stiffness in his right knee since after the All-Star break and has been undergoing treatment.

There's no evidence that this is serious, and he's considered day-to-day. But even if Betts needs some time off, or in a worse-case scenario, has to go on the DL, the Sox can do some things with their outfield.

Michael Martinez's best outfield position is right, as he demonstrated Friday night after taking over for Betts in the top of the fifth. Martinez ran a long way to grab a ball in foul territory for the final out in the sixth, then turned in a fine, tumbling catch in the eighth to take extra bases away from Adam Grossman.

Bryce Brentz, who's been in a platoon of sorts in left with Brock Holt, has played a lot of right field in the minors and has the arm strength to play there.

Finally, there's the matter of Andrew Benintendi. The Sox raised some eyebrows with the news that they were having Benintendi move over to left field at Double A Portland, perhaps in anticipation of playing the position for Boston at some point later this year.

Benintendi is a natural center fielder and even though he doesn't much experience in right, if you're athletic enough to play center, you can usually move to either corner spot.

Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Twins

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Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Twins

Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Boston Red Sox' 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins:

QUOTES:

"I think everybody in the ballpark just assumed this one had a chance to be ended right there.'' - John Farrell on David Ortiz's at-bat with no out and the bases loaded in the ninth inning.

"I feel like I can locate it better - outside, inside corner -- so it's given me more confidence.'' - Eduardo Rodriguez on the improvement with his slider.

"I always look forward to something (good) happening; it just doesn't work out all the time.'' - David Ortiz on his ninth-inning at-bat.

NOTES:

* The Red Sox saw a seven-game winning streak at Fenway -- their longest of the season -- snapped.

* Boston has homered in 13 consecutive games.

* The Red Sox bullpen has posted a 1.17 ERA since July 6.

* Mookie Betts became the first Red Sox hitter to hit 20 homers in a season before he turns 24 since Nomar Garciaparra.

* Dustin Pedroia has reached base in 30 straight games.

* The eight strikeouts posted by Eduardo Rodriguez were a season high and one shy of his career high.

* The loss was only the 15th this season in games in which the Red Sox score first.

* Rodriguez has not allowed an opposing baserunner to steal a base since July 5, 2015.

STARS:

1) Kyle Gibson

Don't let the 5.12 ERA he had coming in fool you. Gibson worked out a little jam in the first, then completely shut the Red Sox down the rest of the way, allowing just one hit and one walk after the first.

2) Brian Dozier

Dozier homered in the second to tie the game, singled in the fourth, walked in the sixth and singled again in the eighth -- reaching base in all four plate appearances.

3) Miguel Sano

Sano invited trouble when he dropped a routine pop-up to allow the Red Sox to put the potential tying run on base in the eighth. But he had three base hits on the night, including a run-scoring double that put the Twins ahead to stay in the sixth.

Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam