Sox player impressed with field of managerial candidates

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Sox player impressed with field of managerial candidates

Compared to earlier managerial searches conducted by the ownership team of HenryWernerLucchino, the Red Sox are flying under the radar in their hunt for a new skipper this year.

No media availability for the candidates. No comments from management. Nothing, really, to even indicate that they're in the market for a new manager.

But at least one Red Sox player -- who spoke to Comcast SportsNet's Mike Giardi on the condition of anonymity -- is impressed, at least with the quality of the field.

"Last year, there were a bunch of guys I didn't know or care about," he told Giardi, referring to the early part of the search when the Sox focused on a field of low-profile candidates (Dale Sveum, Sandy Alomar Jr., Pete Mackanin, etc.). "This year, when I saw the names, I was excited. These guys are well-respected."

(That great respect for Ausmus, Wallach and Pena, incidentally, is "unlike how he felt about the guy they hired last year", Bobby Valentine.)

"I can call any one of my friends on other teams and ask them about Tim Wallach or Tony Pena or Brad Ausmus, and they've got nothing but good things to say, or heard nothing but good things. How can you not like that, after last winter's expletive?"

But he's not as impressed with management's presumed favorite, current Blue Jays manager and former Sox pitching coach John Farrell.

"He's a hell of a pitching coach, but did you see Toronto play this year? They were as lost as we were.

"Losing Jose Bautista was like us losing David Ortiz, but they didn't gut their team at the deadline (and still finished only four games ahead of the Sox). And what happened to their pitching staff? Isn't that Farrell's strength? He can't make 'em make the pitch, but isn't that the expectation here? Whatever."

(EDITOR'S NOTE: To be fair to Farrell, the Blue Jays suffered a wave of pitching injuries -- Drew Hutchinson, Dustin McGowan, Jesse Litsch, Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, Robert Coello -- that severely impacted the staff.)

"I'm pretty sure those guys were in more of a hurry to end the season than we were. Did you see how fast they went in the expletive? That was a step backward."

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Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

Farrell angered after Castillo fails to run out grounder

The Red Sox signed Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo to a seven-year, $72.5 million contract bn August 2014. Over parts of three seasons, the 29-year-old has a .679 OPS across 337 plate appearances in the majors and spent the vast majority of the 2016 season at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Castillo had a chance to start things off on the right foot in 2017, but that ship has already sailed. On Thursday against Northeastern at JetBlue Park, Castillo didn’t run out a routine ground ball. He claims he lost track of the outs. Manager John Farrell isn’t happy about the situation. Via Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald:

“Disappointing for a couple of reasons,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “One, he has lost the number of outs. Still, regardless of another of outs, getting down the line is controllable. And for a player in his situation, every little aspect of the game is important. That’s something that was addressed in the moment. He needs to execute the game situation. And for that matter, every player. But that one obviously stood out.”

Everyone always makes far too big a deal about running out grounders. It’s a real nit to pick when it’s February 23 and your team just finished playing an exhibition game that is even more meaningless than the other exhibition games that will be played in the coming month.

That being said, Castillo has to prove himself to merit inclusion on the 25-man roster and that means dotting all his i’s and crossing all his t’s. Even if he went hitless all spring, Castillo could have at least said he couldn’t have done anything else better. But on day one, he already gave his team a reason to count him out.