Normally, Red Sox manager John Farrell and general manager Ben Cherington check in with each other at least once daily.
But with the calendar speeding toward Wednesday’s trade deadline, those conversations have picked up.
“This past 10 days, it might be four, five [times] a day,” Farrell said. “It’s good conversation and certainly, he’s the decision-maker when it comes to player personnel and additions to the roster. He’s great at keeping me up to date on what might be coming down the line.”
Farrell said his focus is on preparing the team on a day-to-day basis while Cherington keeps the long-term vision in mind.
“Having been in some of those meetings in a different role, your view becomes daily and that’s what’s a great balance,” Farrell said. “He’s got to have an eye on today as well as tomorrow. As well as preserve the overall vision and the depth going forward. But it’s hard not to think of today only when you’re in the dugout.”
While they aren’t necessarily itching to pull the trigger on any deals, Farrell said they’re considering what’s out there.
“[Cherington] wants to win as much as anybody — this year,” Farrell said. “So we’re doing whatever we can to make that come to light.”
One of the organization’s strengths is its abundance of quality prospects. The Sox were able to trade outfielder Brandon Jacobs to the White Sox earlier this month for reliever Matt Thornton, adding much-needed depth to an injury-riddled bullpen.
“It’s invaluable,” Farrell said. “I think many of us feel like the organization’s in a very healthy spot, whether it’s to be able to acquire somebody for prospects. But you can’t ever replace the pipeline of good players. You look at the organizations that sustain something year after year, they can’t do it just on buying players all the time. You’ve got to have it come from within.”
Sunday was a frustrating day for Dustin Pedroia, who went 0 for 4. He drilled a fly ball to center in the first inning of the Red Sox’ 5-0 win only to watch the Orioles’ Adam Jones track it down at the wall. He then shot another drive Jones’s way in the third, worked a walk in the fifth, lined hard to left in the eighth, and grounded into an inning-ending double play in the ninth. But the second baseman shook it off.
“That’s the thing,” Pedroia said. “You get a little frustrated sometimes when you square the ball up and don’t get hits. They made some good plays, but that’s a part of the game. When you’re a good hitter, you hit balls at people sometimes. So I’ve got to keep grinding.”
He’s in a 3-for-38 slump over his past nine games, dating to July 19. His batting averaged has dived from .316 to .297, falling below .300 for the first time since May 7.
“He squared up a couple of balls that just didn’t find any green pasture,” Farrell said. “He’s grinding a little bit right now, but who isn’t?”
In the sixth inning, playing in shallow right field with the shift on for Orioles slugger Chris Davis, Pedroia fielded a ground ball cleanly but fired wildly to first, allowing Davis to reach on an error. It was his third miscue in the past 36 games after going error-free in the first 69.
But he made up for it three batters later when he took a nosedive while making a leaping throw at second to turn a double play on a J.J. Hardy ground ball to end the inning.
“It was a little different because Davis was running and I couldn’t really see the throw [from third baseman Jose Iglesias],” Pedroia said. “But it’s a part of the job.”
The play got Jon Lester out of a first-and-second, one-out jam.
“Pedey is fearless when it comes to turning the double play,” Farrell said. “He hangs in tough when the runner’s bearing down on him. Iggy’s got such quick hands and a quick release, he gets it to him in pretty good fashion there, but in that part of the game where it’s still just a three-run game, it was a pretty good [play] for us.”
Catching some rest?
Jarrod Saltalamacchia knows how many miles he’s logged the past month, but the 180 feet he had to leg out to get his double in the sixth inning took its toll.
“I felt good going into the game,” Saltalamacchia said. “I think that double might have killed me a little bit, but I feel good.”
With backup David Ross on the 60-day concussion disabled list, Saltalamacchia has been behind the plate for 18 games this month.
He likely will get a day off Monday at Fenway with the Tampa Bay Rays sending dominant lefthander David Price to the mound. Ryan Lavarnway likely will get the start.
Although the day off is much-needed, Saltalamacchia said he’ll be ready to step back in.
“I’ve been taking care of my body,” he said. “I’ll come here tomorrow, get a lift in and rejuvenate a little bit and feel good to go.”