BOSTON - Red Sox hitters held a players-only meeting in the batting cage Saturday before the second game of four against the Rays. Hitting coaches Chili Davis and Victor Rodriguez said they weren’t in the room.
What exactly was talked about wasn’t clear, but you can take a guess based on the numbers.
The Red Sox entered Saturday with just four home runs, the same amount Rick Porcello allowed to the Rays on Friday night. The Sox home run total is the lowest in the league, even fewer than the Blue Jays who have a 1-9 record with five home runs.
But the overall production actually hasn’t been terrible. The Sox (5-5) started the day tied for 15th in average runs scored per game (4.40). They’re actually third in the majors in batting average with runners in scoring position, at .326.
“Here's the thing: We've strung some very good games together. We're seeing some guys start to get their timing more consistently,” Sox manager John Farrell said Saturday. “The one thing we continue to preach is not for one guy to think he has to be the hero in the moment. I don't think that's shown its head, but what Chili has done, he's been fairly consistent with periodic meetings as reminders of things we might be looking for on a pitcher on a given night.”
This meeting, though, wasn’t a Chili production.
Some hitters have some unsightly batting averages at this point. Pablo Sandoval’s hitting .143, for example. But Farrell doesn’t think batters are too worried about the numbers.
"Hitters know there's only certain things they can control. We know the totals so far through 10 games — and it's just that, it's 10 games,” Farrell said. “No one is looking to lift the ball or try to create more of an uppercut swing just for the fact of trying to drive the ball out of the ballpark. We're creating opportunities.
“We haven't had a big swing of the bat since Opening Day with [a home run from Andrew] Benintendi. We look at the opportunities we create, which are many. We're still getting on base at a very high rate. And yet we've got to continue to trust one another up and down the lineup to combine it all together."