Good morning from Fenway. Let’s get to topics from John Farrell’s press conference:
1. Stephen Drew is back in there at short after a day off and Jose Iglesias shifts to third. Why would you play the better shortstop at third? It’s a veteran thing. The Red Sox believe the rookie moves, not the veteran.
2. Farrell said that lefty Franklin Morales will be activated Tuesday. His rehab stint is over. Morales will be used in the bullpen. At that point another move has to be made. We’ll see if Alfredo Aceves goes right back to Pawtucket. Alex Wilson maybe? It will likely depend on the state of the team at that point with injuries. The Red Sox are still playing a little short in the outfield with the Jonny Gomes/Mike Carp platoon providing the backup. Pedro Ciriaco can also back up.
3. Farrell on Carp/Gomes: “In the absence of Shane (Victorino) the combination of he and Jonny have been productive. I think there is a flow with both guys where there’ll be a spot in the game or against certain starters. To their credit, the guys who have come off the bench or spot starting have contributed. Every guy on this roster has. In Mike’s situation there have been situations in the game that have been more focal or against a good righthanded starter like (Justin) Masterson or in situations in the game He’s given us a huge lift coming off the bench.”
4. On Daniel Nava playing right field with Victorino injured: “Shane has shown us exceptional range and very good play in right field, but we don’t compare Daniel vs. Shane. Daniel is going to give us the best of his abilities on any given day. All around though, when you look at the way he’s swung the bat, the way he’s played defensively, he’s had a very good year.”
5. On today’s starter Felix Doubront’s recent success: “Prior to the last two starts he and (pitching coach) Juan (Nieves) did some work in the bullpen just to get his lower half on line as far creating more arm speed and better finish to his stuff in the strike zone. He just built upon what started in Tampa. The best part is the way he speaks when we ask questions and the confidence he shows is an insight on how he feels about himself and the adjustments that have been made. He and Juan are onto something here and hopefully that continues to build.”
6. On Will Middlebrook’s status: “He‘s feeling less stiff. But until we get a bat in his hand and he does some baseball activities we’ll have a better read.”
7. Farrell’s success in pushing the right buttons with his bench: “More than anything is to get to know the strengths of guys on the roster We strive our best to put guys in position to succeed. It’s ultimately their abilities that allows them to do that, but I think there’s been some continuity with the use of the guys on the bench so they can anticipate mentally when a spot is coming up for them. I think that pertains directly to Jonny and Mike Carp and their roles and how they’ve been able to produce. It’s no different than guys in the bullpen. You put them in a situation to have success.”
8. On Iglesias responding better in the majors than the minors: “Everyone’s burning desire and goal is to play at this level. I’d hate to think the major leagues is the sole motivator in all of this but it’s clear there’s a greater level of energy, there’s a greater level of consequence, there’s a greater level of reward that goes with playing here. The one thing Iglesias shows is a lot of self confidence being at this level. Whether that’s because he’s gone through the struggles of last year and he’s grown from those. he comes off a solid spring and gets off to a great start. I thought he handled the decision to go back to Pawtucket as a true pro. He understood. Deep down it’s clear he saw himself as a major league player. The fact he comes back here he handles himself in a way you can sense when he walks passed you. He believes himself. That’s not trash talking or anything else. He just goes about his actions in a mature manner."