Roche’s Red Sox Thoughts: The Farrell Effect

By Dan Roche, WBZ-TV Sports

BOSTON (CBS) –  WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche brings you a few quick hits about the Boston Red Sox.

— This may not mean too much if the Red Sox don’t put up a winning season or don’t pitch well, but it’s been interesting to watch the level of communication early on this spring. From Ben Cherington to John Farrell to Juan Nieves to backup catcher David Ross to the pitchers, there’s been a lot of chatter/encouragement/enthusiasm as pitchers get their mound work in. It’s something I haven’t seen to this extent in all my years of covering this team.

More: Dan Roche’s Sports Blog

— On that note, John Farrell has spent a lot of time watching both Jon Lester and Daniel Bard this spring. Farrell, as we know, was brought here to try to help right their respective ships. So far it looks like things have gone smoothly. I know when I asked Lester how he put his 9-14 2012 behind him he referenced something Farrell had told him the last time he was with the Sox. It just reaffirms to me why Farrell was brought in here: to help fix the pitchers he knows. And if it works, it could be THE difference for this team in making the postseason.

— Lester told me he wants his name to be mentioned in the same category as the likes of Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, David Price and the other “Aces” of the American League.

Watch: Rochie’s 1-on-1 With Jon Lester

–I wonder if the Red Sox have thought about trading Alfredo Aceves, or even outright releasing him, as way to send a message? I know arms are too valuable these days, but pretty soon enough is enough with the moody pitcher.

–I Like the trade for Mike Carp. He can play both first base and left field and has done both on the major league level. He’ll also give the team a little more depth, and another lefty bat.

Read: Red Sox Open Spring Games With Wins Over Northeastern, BC

— Jacoby Ellsbury has already been declared a “goner” when he hits free agency after the 2012 season. Ellsbury has come across to some as a quiet guy who hates the spotlight, which doesn’t seem to fit in Boston. Add to the equation the fact that Ellsbury is represented by super-agent Scott Boras — who usually let’s his client hit the open market then waits until the mega-deal shows up one day. So yes, it looks like he’s a goner.

However, there are a few things to think about:

The Red Sox are the only organization he’s known. Ellsbury seemed to appreciate that fact when I asked him about it. He likes “the known” as in the team that drafted and groomed him before calling him up to the bigs. He’s also won a World Series here. Some of his teammates have told me that it could be a factor in him staying or going, especially if the Sox come close on any offer. Ellsbury is also quite fond of Ben Cherington as the two have worked hand in hand as they both rose through the organization.

Will Ellsbury stay? I still think he will go elsewhere, especially if he puts up numbers comparable or close to his 2011 season. It would surprise me if the Sox would take another leap with a 6-8 year, $20-25 million per season deal. But, just some things to think about.

Follow WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche on Twitter @RochieWBZ.

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