Ben Cherington: Struggling Red Sox Not Lacking Effort, Accountability

BOSTON — It doesn’t sound like the Red Sox’s lineup shakeup will precede a roster shakeup.

While the Red Sox continue to struggle to open the 2015 season, general manager Ben Cherington expressed faith in his team before Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park.

“I don’t see any lack of accountability,” Cherington said. “I see effort. I see work. I see accountability after games when they don’t go well. I see guys being honest with themselves when things are going well, aren’t going well. We just haven’t performed well as a team.”

The Red Sox entered Saturday four games under .500 (19-23). It marks their worst record through 42 games since starting 16-26 in 1997. Boston has gone 12-20 since opening the season with a 7-3 record.

All of this has created a collective frustration within the Red Sox’s clubhouse, manager John Farrell admitted after Boston suffered its third consecutive loss Saturday. But it still doesn’t sound like radical roster changes are on the horizon, as Cherington remains confident that Boston’s sputtering offense will find its stride.

“I think, by and large, we have guys who either are or will hit in 2015,” Cherington said. “There’s always going to be adjustments throughout the season, but you look up and down the group of players we have, most of them either have already performed some and shown that they’re capable of performing this year, or we believe they will based on the quality of at-bats or recent trend, or whatever.

“So I believe in the offense, I believe we can be better collectively as a group. Certainly not lack of care or effort or any of that stuff. (We) just haven’t clicked.”

Boston’s bats have been silenced of late. But there also was a point this season when pitching was the biggest issue. That inconsistent mound work reared its ugly head again Friday, when Rick Porcello was rocked by the Angels in a 12-5 loss.

Balance remains the key, yet it’s been elusive so far. As a result, the Red Sox haven’t been able to build any sustainable success through the first quarter of the season. And that’s not sitting well with several Red Sox players, including second baseman Dustin Pedroia, but Cherington doesn’t see the team’s chemistry suffering or character issues arising amid the team’s struggles.

“Our guys are here every day early. They’re working. They’re watching video. They’re getting their work in. It’s not a lack of effort or preparation,” Cherington said. “I think they really want to do well. I think they’re trying hard to do well and execute in those situations, and they haven’t to this point.

“Sometimes if it starts to happen with one guy, the next guy maybe breathes a little bit, and you start trusting each other but also trusting yourself.”

Execution between the lines is what it boils down to. The Red Sox might like each other. They might be playing their tails off. And they might be working harder and harder as the frustration builds. But until the results change, there are going to be those who question whether radical changes need to be made.

“We haven’t played well. There’s no sugarcoating it,” Cherington said, acknowledging that it’s not all sunshine and rainbows in Boston. “I don’t think that means we won’t play well, but we haven’t to date.”

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@leahysean

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