×

Farrell’s status again up in air as Red Sox enter offseason

  • In this Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, photo, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell, left, argues with home plate umpire Mark Wegner, right, during the second inning of Game 4 of baseball's American League Division Series against the Houston Astros in Boston. Boston’s playoffs hopes ended with its second straight exit in the division series. Changes this offseason could be at the top. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

  • In this Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, photo, Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Chris Sale is congratulated in the dugout in the eighth inning in Game 4 of baseball's American League Division Series against the Houston Astros in Boston. Even after adding the ace left-hander to a pitching rotation that already included two Cy Young winners, Boston’s playoffs hopes ended with its second straight exit in the division series. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Michael Dwyer

  • In this Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, file photo, Boston Red Sox relief pitcher David Price delivers against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game 3 of baseball's American League Division Series, in Boston. Injuries to Price and others during the season again stunted Boston in the playoffs and ended with its second straight exit in the division series. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Michael Dwyer



Associated Press
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

BOSTON — John Farrell is familiar with the extremes that come with being the manager of the Boston Red Sox.

He knows what it’s like to be celebrated, as he was in his first season in 2013 when he managed the team to the franchise’s eighth World Series title.

He also knows what it feels like under a harsh spotlight, where he’s found himself each of the last two seasons after exits in the division series of the postseason.

So he wasn’t surprised to hear his job security questioned after the Red Sox were eliminated from the playoffs with their 5-4 loss to Houston on Monday night.

“I can’t begin to talk about what the offseason plans are and what changes may be realized, but I still feel like there’s a lot of good things that are going on here,” Farrell said.

Farrell was unavailable Tuesday as Boston’s players cleaned out their lockers and departed for the offseason. But team officials said he and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski are scheduled to hold season-ending news conferences later in the week.

Farrell’s current contract runs through the 2018 season.

Boston won back-to-back American League East titles for the first time in franchise history this season despite losing the bat of retired slugger David Ortiz. It also did it despite starting the season with $217 million pitcher David Price on the disabled list and watching as 2016 Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello stumbled to an 11-17 record.

The season also featured a second straight All-Star appearance by Mookie Betts and the arrival of Rafael Devers. Other young cogs like Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi also were key contributors.

The group showed resiliency throughout the season. And Farrell said Monday that he believes he is the manager that can get it over its current hump.

“We didn’t meet our goals,” Farrell said. “But we have seen some really good young players continue to develop. We had a number of challenges thrown our way from individual injuries to performance. But as a team they stuck together.”

Time will tell whether the franchise sticks with him.

Here are some things to know heading into the offseason:

HELP WANTED

While the team survived without Ortiz, it clearly missed his bat.

With Ortiz in 2016 Boston led the AL in team batting average (.282) and RBIs (836). It also ranked seventh in the AL in home runs (208). Without him, those totals slumped to 168 home runs (last in the AL), 735 RBIs (sixth in AL) and a .258 batting average (ninth in the AL).

But the Red Sox have baseball’s third-highest payroll, so finding some power this offseason will require some tough choices.

PEDROIA’S HEALTH

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia was the veteran heart of the team this season. But after 12 seasons, it’s also clear that 2017 was a physical struggle for him. The 34-year-old weathered left knee issues all season and spent time on the disabled list. He said his first order of business this offseason would be to consult with doctors on his options.

“We had to try and find a way to do what we did so I could be out there, but if you were to get it fixed, the recovery is a long time,” he said. “I have a lot of things to weigh with the doctors and we’ll figure it out.”

POMERANZ’S OUTLOOK

Pomeranz said he is looking forward to having a true offseason to work on some things. He had a stem cell injection in his pitching elbow shortly after the 2016 season. Then in spring training this year he was slowed by a strained elbow. Still, he made a career-best 32 starts, with a career-best 17-6 record and 173.2 innings pitched.

He said he also wants to get another chance in the postseason after a disappointing outing in Game 2 against Houston.

“As far as the rest of the year, I felt like it was a big improvement for me,” he said. “But I still feel like there’s more.”