BALTIMORE (AP/CBS) — Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington remains convinced the defending World Series champions can rebound from a disappointing start without a massive roster overhaul.
The Red Sox entered play Tuesday with a 28-35 record after losing six of seven games. They were in fourth place in the AL East, 10 games behind front-running Toronto.
“That’s not up to our standards and it’s my job to make it better,” Cherington said. “We believe it’s going to get better. We believe we have a very good team. We just have to get some guys back performing to a level they are accustomed.
“At this point in the season, we’re focused on the guys that are here and have to find a way to play better with who we have. I’m betting on the players we have in there.”
Boston obviously expected more from outfielders Daniel Nava (.168 batting average), Jackie Bradley Jr. (.203) and Grady Sizemore (.220). Shane Victorino has only played in 21 games this season, and he and his .242 average are currently on the disabled list with a hamstring strain.
“We just haven’t gotten production from the outfield,” Cherington said, “and ultimately it’s my responsibility to figure that out.”
Worse, Stephen Drew was 1 for 14 since signing a prorated one-year contract on May 21.
“It seems pretty early to make a judgment on that one,” Cherington insisted. “We all know that Stephen Drew is a very good major league player. We didn’t think it would take him much time in the minor leagues to be ready to play and help us up here.”
Injuries have played a part, too. Will Middlebrooks, Felix Doubront, Clay Buchholz and Mike Carp are among the notable players on the disabled list.
“It’s a variety of things,” Cherington said. “We’ve had some injuries. We haven’t been good offensively. I can’t point to any one thing. Hopefully, we can get our full lineup out there. We think we have a lot of wins in us with our core lineup. We just haven’t had that core group out there consistently.”
The Red Sox had a team meeting Sunday in an effort to turn things around. But after beating Detroit, they lost 4-0 to Baltimore on Monday.
“What we control is our effort and preparation, and I’ve had no problems with those areas,” manager John Farrell said. “Our effort and preparation have been consistent.”
For now, Cherington is reluctant to make any changes. But he won’t play a pat hand for long.
“I’m not saying we wouldn’t consider moves down the road,” Cherington said.
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