Cherington 'comfortable' with pitching depth


Cherington 'comfortable' with pitching depth

If spring training were to start tomorrow, the Red Sox would be happy with their current pitching depth, general manager Ben Cherington said in a conference call Tuesday afternoon.

This offseason, the Sox have added right-handers Andrew Bailey and Mark Melancon to the 40-man roster. They've also signed righties Aaron Cook, Justin Germano, Charlie Haeger, Will Inman, Doug Mathis, Vicente Padilla, Carlos Silva and Chorye Spoone, and left-handers Jesse Carlson and Justin Thomas, to minor league contracts.

Generally, I think what were looking to do is build as much pitching depth as we can, Cherington said. I think we have been able to sign some guys that have been very effective major-league pitchers at different points and for whatever reason struggled last season . . . Our hope is that we can put them in a position to get back, or get closer back, to their previous form if they can. One or more of those guys should be able to help us.

But, since spring training is still more than a month away, the Sox are not likely to stand pat.

I dont want to rule anything out, Cherington said. I think if spring training opened tomorrow, wed be comfortable with where we are with our pitching depth. We feel like we have a number of options, both on the roster and off the roster, for the last spots in the rotation and in the bullpen. And also a very strong returning core to pitch at the front of the rotation and the back of the bullpen. So, if spring training opened tomorrow, wed feel good about where we are. But it doesnt open tomorrow. So well keep our mind open and eyes open to possible upgrades. But theres nothing on the front burner right now.

Padilla, the Sox latest addition, will report to spring training intending to be a starter. He was limited to just nine games, and 8 23 innings, all out of the bullpen last season, and none after May 13. His season was cut short by surgery to repair a bulging disk in his neck.

Hes going to come to camp as a starter, Cherington said. Hell be part of that mix competing for the last couple spots. Hes pitched out of the bullpen, too. He knows that theresa chance if he makes the team and we need him more in the pen, that he may end up more in the pen. So I think right now hes focused on coming to camp as a starter and trying to make the team in one role or another. But hell come to camp as a starter.

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies a week

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies a week

This isn’t your average young and hungry player on the brink of the big leagues.

Yoan Moncada, the ex-Red Sox prospect who was one of the principal pieces in the trade for Chris Sale, ate 85 Twinkies in a week, his agent told ESPN The Magazine

David Hastings, Moncada's agent, clarified to CSNNE that this was a one-time thing when Moncada first arrived in the U.S. Moncada had never had Twinkies before, Hastings said, so he was like "a kid in a candy store."

He's still in great shape. Moncada had a huge spring training with the White Sox after a disappointing major-league debut with Boston in September. 

The 21-year-old third baseman has been optioned out of big-league camp, so he’s slated to start the year in Triple-A. But he hit .317 with a .391 on-base percentage and .683 slugging percentage and 3 home runs in 41 at-bats — some of the best numbers anywhere.

Moncada took a $31.5 million signing bonus from the Red Sox, money that the Sox turned into Sale. Moncada, meanwhile, didn’t exactly invest every cent.

Twinkies weren’t his only indulgence. 

More from the story: 

Moncada had money to spend on drones, video games, toys and clothes. He sometimes spent $1,500 or more during nights out, David says. After he purchased the second $200,000 car, Josefa [Hastings, David’s wife] tried to talk some sense into him.

Hastings reinforced to CSNNE that the message to Moncada was to invest in things that appreciate in value.

Belichick headlines big-name crowd in attendance at Ohio State pro day


Belichick headlines big-name crowd in attendance at Ohio State pro day

Bill Belichick has counted both Urban Meyer and Greg Schiano among the list of coaches he trusts. On Thursday, the Patriots coach was in attendance at Ohio State's pro day to watch players who've been coached by both. 

Belichick has been closely tied to both Meyer and Schiano over the years, drafting multiple players from their programs when Meyer was at the University of Florida and Schiano was at Rutgers University. The Schiano connection has been particularly strong in recent years as Belichick's son, Steve, played for Schiano, and the Patriots had three key players in their secondary -- Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon and Logan Ryan -- for the last four seasons who studied under Schiano. 

Now the head coach and associate head coach/defensive coordinator, respectively, Meyer and Schiano have tutored some of this year's top draft prospects. Here's a quick breakdown of some of the top-tier talent hailing from Columbus this year . . . 

Malik Hooker, safety: The 6-foot-1, 206-pounder is expected to be the first true free safety off the board. His impressive ball skills made him a turnover waiting to happen in the Big Ten. 

Marshon Lattimore, corner: With a 38.5-inch vertical and a 4.36-second 40-yard dash time, Lattimore is one of the best draft-eligible athletes this year. He was hampered by hamstring injuries in college, but he's still projected to be one of the first defensive backs taken. 

Gareon Conley, corner: Among the draft's fastest risers after putting together a strong combine (4.44 40-yard dash, 6.68-second three-cone), Conley will give his next team good size (6-feet, 195 pounds) and length (33-inch arms). He may not be as polished as Lattimore, but still could very well be a first-round pick.

Pat Elflein, center: This smart, hard-working pivot may not have the world's best footwork, but he should be among the first players taken at his position. Elflein (6-foot-3, 300 pounds) is a former wrestler who has experience at both center and guard. 

Curtis Samuel, receiver: A true all-purpose threat in college (AP All-American, first-team All-Big Ten), he could have trouble adapting to life as a full-time receiver in the NFL. At 5-11, 196 pounds that's probably where he'll end up.

Raekwon McMillan, linebacker: At 6-2, 240 pounds McMillan was a second-team All-American and a first-team All-Big Ten choice. He's instinctive, but there's some concern as to whether or not he has the strength to hold up inside at the next level. The Patriots, as we've noted, have been looking at the linebacker position throughout the pre-draft process.