The Boston Red Sox start the unofficial second half of their season Friday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.
With the Sox starting the second half in first place in the AL, General Manager Theo Epstein joined Mazz and Bertrand to discuss a number of topics, including the Red Sox plans for the rest of the season.
The trade deadline is only a couple of weeks away, what will the Red Sox plan of attack be as the deadline approaches?
“There are areas where we could improve. I don’t think there is anything really glaring that has to be a priority over others,” said Epstein. “A lot of it depends on how our health evolves over the next couple weeks. If we thought these starting pitching injuries were long-term or were injuries that the guys might potentially not come back from that would be the biggest priority, starting pitching. I do think that we have a clear path back to health for all these guys and we have pretty good depth as it is,” said Epstein.
The Sox GM is confident that Jon Lester will return from a Lat strain shortly, but said Clay Buchholz’ return could take a little longer.
Epstein also said the Sox will be in the market for a right-handed bat off the bench if they cannot fill that role internally.
“We have been open about the fact that if we could get the right right-handed bat that could help play a role for us down the stretch against tougher left-handed pitchers. We’ve done a pretty good job against left-handed pitching, but I still think by in large we’re a left-handed dominate hitting team and the right right-handed bat could certainly fit into the mix. And then right field production that an area we are looking to, actually corner outfield production is the scenario we’re looking to improve internally if we can. I think Crawford’s return to health will certainly help in left field,” Epstein said.
What will we see out of J.D. Drew in the second half? After struggling mightily in the first half, could Drew return to his old form?
How would Epstein grade the firstst half performance of Manager Terry Francona? What about the bullpen?
What could realignment mean for the league?