Earlier today Red Sox insider Sean McAdam took some time to field questions from Red Sox Nation. Everything from Dustin Pedroia's injury to trade possibilities, he had you covered. Let's jump right in to it.
Chase from Watertown asks:
Sean, any news yet on Pedey's thumb? Were the Sox wrong in allowing him to play with that injury?
Nothing yet -- suspect we'll hear more later this afternoon. It's certainly worth asking if they made a mistake in not shutting him down when this flared up a couple of weeks ago.
Should Prior get called up, can he be optioned back to the minors or would he have to clear waivers?
Good question. It's been so long since Prior pitched in the big leagues (2006), that I'm unsure whether he has options remaining. Because he got to the big leagues relatively quickly, I'm guessing yes. Will check on this and tweet the answer later @Sean_McAdam
Doug from Woburn asks:
Sean, If the Sox can't trade Youk can we expect to see the A-gon in RF,Middlebrooks playing part time, Etc Or do they just use youk as a bench player
I think a lot will be determined by how well he plays. If he's contributing with the bat and it's worth moving Gonzales to the OF to keep him in the lineup, then, yes. If he doesn't start producing, I would think you would see an end to that alignment with Youkilis getting only sporadic playing time.
Matt from Boston asks:
sean, was last night the last night kalish will play CF?
No. He misplayed a couple of balls -- playing a carom when he might have caught the ball, then dropping the ball on the warning track in the 8th. But I'm chalking that up to a bad night. Kalish is actually regarded as a good defender and capable of playing CF. Think it might havr been more about playing in Fenway for the first time in a year and a half
Angelo B asks:
Hey sean thanks for taking the time! Love your work, my question is, why is it that beckett can get overruled in an injury but the heart and soul of your team dustin pedroia is not overruled and now is probably going to be out for an extended period of time
Thanks, Angelo. And excellent question. I raised this point earlier. If they're going to give the power to the training staff to shut down Beckett as a precaution, why can't they do the same on Pedroia. My guess is that they're particularly careful with pitchingshoulders. But Pedroia is as important as any pitcher on the team. Don't get this.
Dillon from Tyngsboro asks:
When the entire outfield is healthy, who do you have starting and how is on the bench?
Crawford in left, Ellsbury in CF, platoon of KalishRoss in RF and Sweeney as the extra OF on the bench. That means that McDonald, Podsednik and Nava have to go.
Matt from Boston asks:
sean, if you have a hall of fame vote, do you vote clemens in the hall of fame?
I do have a vote. I'm not sure on Clemens. I'm trying to hold off on any decisions re: HOF and suspected POD users until the time comes to cast the ballot. Obviously, there's no doubting the numbers being worthy with Clemens. And you could make the argument that he had already established himself as HOFer before the suspected PED use began in late 1990s. Tough call, as will be the case on Bonds.
Matt (FenwayWest.com) asks:
Sean, do you think Bailey will get a chance to close when he comes back or have Aceves locked up that role for this season.
I think Bailey becomes the closer when he's healthy. Aceves can be used in a multitude of roles (multiple-inning guy; set-up; starter), so it's not as if the Sox can't move him to another spot.
Bob Zupcic asks:
It worries me that the Red Sox are going to use the 2nd Wild Card spot as an excuse to not do something drastic this year (and going forward). Sure it's great to 'get in the tournament', but is a 1-game playoff really something to shoot for?
Or, you could take the other side of the argument and worry that they MAY do something dramatic -- trade prospects for immediate help, just to try to get into wild-card round. Either way, it's a tricky proposition. A lot of other teams will face the same issue.
Guy in the Notre Dame Hat asks:
Sean, bumped into you as we took the 2:45 tour of Wrigley on Sunday. I think you were the highlight of the tour for me. What is going to happen with Lavarnaway? Is he eventually called up or is he a big trade piece
Nice seeing you in Chicago. Surely, there had to be something better on that tour than me! As for Lavarnway, I think it will depend on where they are in the race. If they think they can deal off Shoppach and get something for him, he could be up as Saltalamacchia's back-up in the second half.
I can see the disconnect between BV and players just curious if the new coaches Ochoa, Royster, & McClure are disconnected too
Not Royster -- he was the one coach that Valentine got to hire. Ochoa has been in the organization a while and McClure was hired before Valentine. What complicates things with McClure is that Valentine brought in Randy Niemann, who has a long association with Valentine and is serving as asst. pitching coach.
Matt from Boston asks:
will daniel bard be back up in the majors before the all-star break?
That will depend on how he pitches. He had a good outing over the weekend in Pawtucket, so that was a positive step. But the Sox will want to see him have several good outings in a row before recalling him.
Sean, does the Sox FO see Salty as thier long term solution at C? Salty wasis a highly touted prosp & seems to be realizing his potential. Kinda right on time C do develope pretty slow
I think they do see Salty as a long-term option at catcher. His power has really developed in the last year. He could still improve behind the plate and with his throws, but they can live with his defense now if he can deliver 20-plus homers.
Wakefield Mike asks:
Speaking of Salty...has he exceeded your expectations? What do you think his ceiling is at AND behind the plate?
His power has surprised me. I don't think he'll ever be thought of someone who can shut down oppposing running games or win a Gold Glove behind the plate, but he can get better. TO me, his defense is playable now and should improve as he gets more experience
Matt K asks:
What would it take for Boston to get either Dempster or Garza, and who do you think they would be more high on?
There's no question that Garza is more highly valued, for any number of reasons -- he's under control past this year, he has better stuff and he's already pitched and succeeded in the AL East. To get him, I would think it would take two top prospects: Middlebrooks and a pitcher, perhaps. In other words, more than the Sox woudl be willng to give up, I believe.
Dante from NJ asks:
Same type of question as OF...with everyone healthy and assuming Bard is back in the pen, what is your bullpen come mid-Aug?
Bailey closing, with Padilla and Aceves setting up. Miller and Hill as lefties and Atchison and Albers for middlelong work.
Sean how bad is the CLUBHOUSE? Does Bobby V. interact with the players on a daily basis Ken from south Hadley
It's not great, but as I've said in the last two days, I think "toxic'' is overstating things. There's still some leftover residue from last September and it hasn't helped that team can't get on a roll. As for Valentine, there's some interraction, but not much. I think after the Youkilis thing in April drew such criticism, Valentine retreated some.
Whitey from South Boston asks:
Do you think Bard comes back in the bullpen or as a starter?
All signs point to bullpen. If rotation stays healthy, there's no real need for him as a starter. And I think he can get straightened out quicker in relief. I also realize I omitted him from the prospective Aug. bullpen question a few minutes ago. A return for Bard would give the Sox some bullpen pieces to deal.
What do you think the Soxs will do at the trade deadline will they be buyers or will they open there eyes and be sellers?
Too soon to tell, Chris. If they hang around in the A.L. East, I would think they might look to help out the rotation depth without sacrificing too much of their farm system. I can also see them selling off (Youkilis, an OF, bullpen) if they don't think one piece can make a difference.
Matt K asks:
Could you see Boston shipping Padilla to make room for Tazawa, or Melancon,etc when Bailey returns
Sure. There will be very few untouchables in that pen. It might make sense to move a veteran arm (Padilla, Albers) if Bard and Bailey come back healthy. Nearly every contender will be looking to improve their bullpen and this could put the Sox in a position to capitalize.
Sideshow Bob from Springfield asks:
Anything new on the relationship between Cherington and BobbyOwners? Is he still being restricted by his bosses or have they finally allowed him some freedom?
Depends on the issue. He's free to draft, sign, and make deals -- to a certain point. Anything big -- a huge trade involving lots of money -- would have to be run by owners, but that was the case with Theo, too. As for his relationship with Valentine, I think Cherington is trying to make the best of a difficult situation. He didn't hire him, of course, and there's probably some strain there because of that.
And look out for that rake, Sideshow!
Doug McRay from Charlestown:
If they Sox look to buy, who are they targeting?
That's tough to pinpont now, because the races are pretty fluid. Teams who beileve they're in contrenion now (including the SOx themselves) may not be in a month or so when the deadline draws closer. As I said earlier, I believe they'll be targeting starting pitching -- but so will many other teams.
Kyle from Brighton asks:
What is it going to take for Gonzalez to get back on track? He deserves a lot more criticism than he has received.
I think he has to get back to hitting the way he always has -- drawing walks, getting himself into hitter's counts, etc. As for the criticism, I think some of it has been mitigated by his willingness to play the outfield. But I see your point.
Manny Ramirez asks:
Sean, will the Sox take me back? I think we can both agree "Manny being Manny" would be the perfect remedy for their "toxic" clubhouse...no?
Oh, no doubt, Manny. You could make everything all better in a hurry. At least you'd bring some comic relief.
Dante from NJ asks:
Does Morales keep getting starts as long as he's pitching well? I.e. once beckett comes back, could Dice-K be odd man out?
Don't think so. Who knows how long Beckett is going to take before he's able to pitch again. Can't see them bumping DiceK anywhere because he's not a good fit in the bullpen. But obviously, another injury to a starter or a possible deal could change things in a hurry.
Steve from Fall River asks:
Does the Red Sox medical staff deserve criticism if Pedroia ends up needing to go on the 15-day DL. It seems like they let Pedroia play because he wanted to. Isn't it their job to tell (or force) him what he should be doing?
Ultimately, the decision rests with the front office. We don't know what the training staff recommended to Cherington and Valentine. My guess is, they laid out the options and risks involved, and together with input from Pedroia, a decision was made based on those factors.
Donny Berger from Somerville asks:
Will Iglesias make an appearance at Fenway anytime soon? Is he going to be our future SS or will the revolving door continue at that position?
I would guess you'd see him at some point, though not necessarily soon. He's been out with a lower back issue and there's no need to have anyone other than Aviles at SS. At the very least, he'll be up in Sept. when the rosters expand.
OBP used to be such a big part of the Sox approach. What has happened to their philosophy?
I don't think it's changed much. It's still valued. About the only player on the current roster who doesn't fit the profile is Aviles. Some others might be underperforming, but it doesn't mean the Sox don't value the ability to get on base.
Ike from Chatham asks:
Which Sox draft pick do you think has the best chance at a solid MLB career?
Way too soon to tell. But without being too obvious, you'd figure the guys chosen in the first few rounds have the best chance. I know they took a lot of pitchers after the first round and projecting them is espeically tough. The baseball draft, even for successful organizations, is a real crapshoot.
Doug from Woburn asks:
Sean do the Red sox owners realize that nobody believes that the sellout streak is legitamate...or don't they care ?
Who knows? I thought that once they passed Portland's record for the four major sports, we might see the "end'' of it. But they seem intent on keeping it going. No one outside the organization takes it serously any more.
Morton Previt from Randolph asks:
In your opinion, when everyone is healthy, what is the starting lineup?
Ellsbury CF; Crawford LF; Pedroia 2B; Ortiz DH; Gonzalez 1B; Middlebrooks 3B; RossKalish RF; Saltalamacchia C; Aviles SS.
Question: Why don't the Sox retire Dewey's 24? They are pushing him for the HOF -- don't they think that it would be a smart move to retire his number and build the efforts from there?
Evans is off the HOF ballot and must wait to get onto the Veteran's Committee ballot down the road, so he's not going to get in anytime soon. As for they don't retire his No. 24, it may have something to do with the policy -- instituted by previous ownership -- that players must end their playing careers in a Red Sox uniform. Evans, of course, played his last year in Baltimore.
Iglesias was hitting .269, OBP of .317 in AAA before he got hurt. Aviles is living off his hot start, and his numbers have dipped substantially (.266 avg, .287 OBP overall, .246.261.362 over past 49 games). Had Iglesias been healthy for the past month rather than on the DL, would the Sox have brought him up?
I don't think so. While Aviles doesn't get on-base as much as they'd like, he's played a better-than-average SS and, as recrently as last week, he was second on the team in RBI and tops among all SS in RBI. And if you're fixated on OBP, how well do you think Iglesias would do in the big leagues when he's got a .317 OPB at AAA?
With your healthy starting lineup, why wouldn't you have Youk playing?
Because he can't seem to sustain anything offensively and I'm guessing that, in a month, he'll have been traded.
What if it was June 20th and Manny Ramirez (circa 2005) was putting up the numbers Gonzo is putting up? The media would be talking about it 247. Why does the media let a "nice guy" like Gonzo get away with this garbage, when you know it would be a much bigger deal if a lightning rod like Manny was hitting like Julio Lugo.
First of all, it's not as if Gonzalez hasn't come under criticism from the media. It has nothing to do with "nice guy.'' Gonzalez speaks to the media, but isn't exactly a media favorite. And finally, there was some extra baggage regarding Ramirez and 1) his hustle 2) his willingness to play. Those are big factors in the big picture. Put another way, could you see Ramirez agreeing to play out of position for an extended period, just to help the team?
Mike from North Attleboro asks:
Is there an issue with Red Sox coaches getting along? Seems like there have been some hints dropped in the media lately.
I don't see any issues BETWEEN coaches; I think it's fair to suggest that some don't believe their input is being solicited as much as they'd like.
Dot from Dorchester asks:
Gun to head, where will Youk be playing at the end of this season?
No idea. There's about a half-dozen teams (PIT, ARI, LAD, CWS, CLE) interested. All depends on how badly they want him and what they offer in return. Can't say that one team is more likely than another at this point.
Sean McAdam: Thanks to everyone for participating. We'll move the chat (temporarily) to Thursday next week because of travel issues. Join us then! Thanks.