FORT MYERS, Fla. — Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington on Saturday addressed the arrest of catching prospect Jon Denney.
Denney was arrested early Thursday morning for driving with a suspended license and allegedly acting belligerently toward police. Denney, who gave police a license that was restricted for business and emergency purposes after an alleged DUI in Arkansas, was pulled over twice in roughly a two-hour span late Wednesday/early Thursday, according to a police report. Cherington said Saturday the 19-year-old prospect will be placed into a program by the organization.
“At this point, we’re putting together a program for Jon to address things we feel he needs to address,” Cherington said. “That will likely mean he’s not on the field for a while. Beyond that, I can’t say anything more than that at this time. We certainly take the incident seriously. And as we would with any other player, we’re trying to address his needs and help him in any way we can. But certainly, he has some work to do.”
This marks the third season in a row a Red Sox player has been arrested during spring training. Former Boston reliever Bobby Jenks and current Red Sox pitcher Drake Britton were arrested for driving under the influence in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Cherington on Saturday stressed the importance of analyzing each case individually, though.
“Every player is different, first of all. Every person is different. And every case is different,” Cherington said. “I just think we have to look at these things as individual cases involving individual people, and try to figure what happened, try to figure out what their needs are. Obviously, this is behavior we don’t condone and it’s unacceptable, and (Denney) knows that. We’re going to try to help him with the things he needs help with.
“I think any time something like this happens it’s a concern,” Cherington added. “It’s not something that represents the organization the way we want it to be represented. It’s not something that’s part of being a professional baseball player. It’s not something that’s part of being any employee. We take it seriously.”
Denney, who was drafted in the third round of the 2013 draft, hit .203 (15-for-74) with a .379 on-base percentage in 26 games with Red Sox’s Gulf Coast League affiliate last season. Cherington said the Red Sox did not consider releasing Denney and instead plan to help the young catcher with his problems.
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