BOSTON MA - DECEMBER 11: Theo Epstein general manager of the Boston Red Sox answers questions about Carl Crawford during a press conference on December 11 2010 at the Fenway Park in Boston Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Theo Epstein talks all things Red Sox, including the panic across Red Sox nation and injuries to J.D. Drew and Josh Beckett, on WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan Show" radio show. Steve Silva of Boston.com has the transcript of the Q&A; here are the highlights:
On J.D. Drew's finger injury:
Epstein: "J.D.'s got a broken finger, he's had an avulsion fracture of his middle finger so it needs to heal, hopefully he can come back. We haven't ruled anything out with him. He wants to be out there. He cut back his rehab game, went 3-for-3, then in that last at-bat broke that finger. So, he's doing the best he can and we want to try to get him back as soon as we can. Same as the case for a number of other guys that we've had out for a long time here."
Plagued by injuries, Drew is hitting a poor .219/.317/.305 in 271 plate appearances this season. Bad timing for the 35-year-old, who is in the final year of a 5 year/$70 million contract.
On John Lackey's struggles:
Epstein: "Again, I think it's a number of factors. We were pretty hopeful for a while there that he would pull himself out of it. He had a run of good starts, was starting to throw the ball better, had a little bit of regression here lately but that's what makes it frustrating. If it were that easy to pinpoint, obviously he would have made an adjustment by now so it's a continual struggle to try to pinpoint exactly what's going on with him and make adjustments so he can help us."
Lackey is posting a 6.30 ERA, with a weak 1.94 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
On the reason for a collapse:
"It's never one factor," Epstein said."There are a lot of things that we're not doing well right now, and those are all contributing obviously. We're not getting very good starting pitching right now, our bullpen is in a downturn. We have some guys that are not having the kind of at bats that they've had throughout the course of the season. We're not playing great defense. We're making some mistakes with the balls in play so a little bit of everything contributed to it. It's not just one thing, it's just right across the board why we've had a really bad couple of weeks."