Butterfield ready for third-base coach responsibility

996501.jpg

Butterfield ready for third-base coach responsibility

FORT MYERS, Fla. - It has been said that perhaps the only tougher job in baseball than coaching third base for the Red Sox is managing the Red Sox. But, there are some who arent certain those are in the right order.

Brian Butterfield, the Sox new third base coach, knows whats ahead of him, and he knows it will be a challenge.

One of the benefits that Ive had, I grew up in New England, said Butterfield, a native of Maine. Dad (the late Jack Butterfield, who served as vice president of player development and scouting for the Yankees) used to take me to a lot of games. So I went to a lot of games at Fenway, watched a lot of games on TV. I almost feel like Ive been a member of the Red Sox for a long time.

And then being in the division for the last 11, 12 years, Ive had an opportunity to coach third for over 100 times at Fenway in my career. So I feel comfortable. There are some tough spots, but there are also some forgiving spots. We really feel like right field is the best two-base field in baseball, because theres so much area out there. Right fielders have to play a little bit deeper. Its a great first-to-third field and a great second-to-home field. So left field is the toughest two-base field and right field is I think the best two-base field in all of baseball. So the tough parts are offset by some easier parts. The one thing as a coach you always want to keep sight of the ball and that left field corner can be tough because that jut-out with the stands.

Butterfield knows previous Red Sox third base coaches have had a difficult time. Its part of the job with any team. Third base coaches are a lot like umpires. Fans dont notice them until something goes wrong.

Ive watched for years, and fair or unfair, sometimes it can be a very unfair position, he said. Because, for me, I still think to this day that Dale Sveum is an outstanding third base coach. I really do. Hes a guy that Ive had a lot of conversations with and I think that he takes great positioning. Hes a great decision maker. But thats the nature of the beast.

"And I think that just like players, through time you develop tough skin. You may have well-laid intentions but then the defense executes and you get a guy thrown out. And were going to get guys thrown out because good baserunning teams, aggressive baserunning teams run into outs. So you cant worry about it too much, you just got to keep moving forward and keep pressing, and thats what we try to encourage players. Im going to make some bad decisions, but Ive got to learn to flush it and move on and keep pressing the issue.

Butterfield is also responsible for the baserunning game. With an entirely new coaching staff working with a new group of players, baserunning signs have to be revised and reinvented often.

It takes a little while, he said. I know over the last five years as a third base coach, there's always guys being traded, guys who move on to other clubs, and theres things that you have to change. Well, this year, I feel like Ive had to change just about everything that Ive done offensively. So its going to be an adjustment period for me feeling good. But thats what spring training is for, feeling good about getting my signs, plus imparting to them what were going to do.

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

usatsi_9412070.jpg

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox’ 6-2 win over the Angels:

QUOTES

* “He just had very good command the entire night. Stayed ahead in the count [and] pitched to all quadrants of the strike zone. He used his four-seamer in on some powerful right-handed hitters in their lineup.” John Farrell on Rick Porcello’s performance.

* “We needed a win bad and swung the bats well and played good defense. That’s a big win for us.” Rick Porcello said after his win in an interview with NESN.

* “24 hours ago we were probably in a much different place mentally after a ball game like tonight.” Farrell on the win.

“That was probably the first time I sat on off-speed pitches this whole year. I took a chance, took a gamble.” Jackie Bradley Jr. said on his home run.

NOTES

* Rick Porcello completed his first game in a Red Sox uniform in the 6-2 win. The CG was the fifth of his career and his first since he threw three in 2014. The righty has 14 wins, one win shy of tying his career high.

* Xander Bogaerts had his first multi extra-base hit performance of the season since June 11. He’s only done that twice this season. He extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

* David Ortiz logged his 85th RBI of the season in the win and Mookie Betts his 67th. Heading into Friday night’s game, the two were one of five pairs of teammates ranking in the top 20 in RBI. The list includes Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson, Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce and Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

* Dustin Pedroia has now reached base safely in 32 straight games.

STARS

1) Rick Porcello

Porcello had his first complete game in a Red Sox uniform, stopping Boston’s losing skid at four games.

2) Xander Bogaerts

Bogaerts finished with a double and a home run -- the only Boston hitter with multiple hits. He also led the Red Sox with three RBI and scoring twice in the win.

3) Dustin Pedroia

In addition to walking in his first two at-bats, Pedroia had a base hit -- and another walk -- scoring twice on the night.

First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

ap_16212129505474.jpg

First impressions of the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Angels

First impressions of the Red Sox 6-2 win over Los Angeles:

Rick Porcello is not fazed by his fellow staff members’ struggles.

Although his teammates continue to deal with frustrations on almost a nightly basis, Porcello got the job done and put Boston in a position to win once again.

The second-inning double by Daniel Nava should have been a single, had Jackie Bradley Jr. not misplayed a funny hop. If that hit is a single, the next ground ball is a double -- and the following grounder ends the inning.

One of the most impressive components of his outing was dealing with Cole Kalhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to finish his outing after already facing them three times on the night.

Xander Bogaerts had his first multi-hit game in a week.

Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t a long time -- but that can feel like a long time given the shortstop’s output this year.

It was also his first multi extra-base hit performance since June 11.

Oddly enough, those are his only two games of that kind this season.

In addition to the win, Porcello did the bullpen a favor.

Not necessarily because the relievers needed rest, but with Ziegler’s last two rough nights, they could use a break.

Although Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz got warm late, it was more so to keep them fresh for the coming games since they haven’t thrown much.

Additionally, he gave an example for the Red Sox starting rotation that they are in fact capable of going the distance.

Tim Lincecum is barely a shell of what he used to be.

That first inning was hard to watch. The former Cy Young Award-winner threw eight straight balls, and somehow managed to work past. Even his final throw to first base in he opening frame looked like it was going off the mark.

Just hard to watch in general, which made it all the more shocking that the Red Sox couldn’t score against him.

Good for them that he never adjusted, and they took advantage of it in the ensuing innings.

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Merloni: ‘Missed opportunities left and right’ for Red Sox

Lou Merloni talks about the Red Sox losing 6 out of the last 7 games and if David Price should have stayed in the game for the 9th inning.