The Red Sox are still hanging on to the top spot in the American League East, but with the trade deadline looming, Boston could make some moves to prepare for what will hopefully be a deep playoff run.
With Clay Buchholz likely not returning to the mound until September, and even more injuries in the bullpen, pitching will be a focal point during this upcoming week’s trade talks. Jake Peavy, a veteran right-hander, remains one of the best options still available on the market, and the Red Sox are said to be interested in the former Cy Young winner.
Could more big changes be coming for the Red Sox? Let’s tackle that and more in this week’s mailbag.
Do you think the Sox will make some minor tweaks or make some major moves?
It seems, unlike past years, that something big may happen. The injuries are starting to pile up. The Sox will likely be looking for starting pitching now, and also without question they will be looking for help in the pen. Also, they may need another bat. So, I do think something big could happen. I am a big Jake Peavy fan and would like to see something in that regard to bolster the rotation, especially with the Clay Buchholz situation.
What’s your fondest memory of the Springfield Indians back in your AHL days?
Just the experience that it gave me. It was my first year out of college, and I was incredibly green. There were many veterans on the team who had significant NHL time. I learned so much about professional hockey and about life on the road. I ended up staying with them for five seasons, and it is amazing to me how many of the guys I was with are now NHL coaches — not to mention the Springfield coach of the 1993-94 Indians, Joel Quenneville, who just won another Stanley Cup.
Any thoughts on Jeff Locke from Redstone, N.H., who is from your neck of the woods?
–Peter C. Murray
I am very happy for him. I had the chance to meet him a few years ago at a Manchester, N.H., writers dinner. We also got to watch him pitch this spring a few times against the Sox. He and I both attended Kennett in Conway. I was there for junior high school. It amazes me when someone makes it from that area because of the weather — you have so little time to play baseball growing up there. I wish him continued success.
What do you do when Red Sox games are on FOX or ESPN?
–Justin Michael Ricci
Unless we are on the road traveling after the game with the team, we are off. I always watch the game to be up-to-date on everything going on. However, the rest of the day is spent fishing, cooking and spending time with my daughters.
With Bryce Brentz having another productive year in the minors, do you see him getting a promotion to the big leagues and the Sox making a big trade for Giancarlo Stanton without trading either Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. or Brentz?
As we have found, to get something good, you have to give up something good. I think Giancarlo Stanton in the Red Sox lineup would be incredible. His raw power is a sight to see — as we did last year in Miami. I do prefer to stick with guys who come up through your system and build around them. However, it is not every year that you are a legitimate World Series contender, and I believe this team is.
Who is the best defensive Red Sox player right now?
This is tough, because they play vastly different positions, so I will take the easy way out and say it is a tie. I am amazed at how good Jacoby Ellsbury has been this season. I cannot tell you how many times I have looked up expecting a ball to fall, and there he is to make the catch out of nowhere. He has also gotten many tremendous jumps this season. I cannot leave out Dustin Pedroia, though. He has had another Gold Glove-caliber season, and he has been incredibly consistent.
Do you think that Dustin Pedroia will retire in Boston?
I hope so. I like when guys spend their entire career with one team. It is pretty rare now with free agency and all, but it can be done. I know he wants to stay here, and I know the owners would like him to.
In your view, when visiting other ballparks, which team has the most knowledgeable and supportive fans?
That’s easy — the St. Louis Cardinals. We don’t play them much, nor do we go there often, but their fans are positive and knowledgeable. They have fun at the games and have fun following their team. They are not nasty, and I think they may be the friendliest of fan bases. When we were walking out from the stadium in 2004, there were many who came up to congratulate us on the win.