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.