Red Sox

Eduardo Rodriguez puts positive spin on Alex Cora's criticism

Eduardo Rodriguez puts positive spin on Alex Cora's criticism

It appears Eduardo Rodriguez doesn't mind a little tough love from his manager.

After the Boston Red Sox pitcher labored through an inefficient spring training outing Monday against the New York Mets, Alex Cora called him out, insisting it's time for Rodriguez to "step up."

“For him to go deeper into games, he needs to attack guys,” Cora said at the time. “His stuff is good, he got some swings and misses. But those are the things that we need to get better and he knows it.”

It's not the first time Cora has challenged Rodriguez publicly. On Tuesday, though, the 25-year-old said he's glad his manager holds him accountable.

"I like that he’s honest all the time,” Rodriguez told reporters in Fort Myers, via MassLive.com's Chris Cotillo. “Even if he tells (the media) or tells me, I like that because that puts me on pace to work more for making everybody happy.

"Everybody understands the point where I have to go. I like that because I know he worries about me. When he says things like that, it’s because he worries about me."

Cora worries about Rodriguez because he has such a high ceiling; the fifth-year veteran looked great earlier in spring training and is coming off the best season of his career in which he posted a 13-5 record and 3.82 ERA.

But Rodriguez's Achilles' heel is his ability to pitch deep into games: He pitched six full innings or more in just nine of his 23 starts in 2018 and never pitched more than 6 2/3 innings in an outing.

Rodriguez is well aware of this shortcoming, though, and will work to take Cora's message to heart.

"We just need to improve that and attack the hitter because that’s the point (of being) a starter,” Rodriguez added.

" ... Last year, I was throwing too many 5 ⅔ (inning outings) so I’m on his page, too. I want to go out there and throw seven innings almost every time I go out there.”

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Report: Brian Bannister leaving Red Sox to join Giants

Report: Brian Bannister leaving Red Sox to join Giants

After five seasons in Boston, Brian Bannister is taking his talents elsewhere.

The former Red Sox vice president of pitching development will join the San Francisco Giants, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network.

Bannister was initially hired by the Red Sox as a scout in 2015. Later that year he was promoted to director of pitching analysis and development by then-Sox GM Dave Dombrowski.

In 2016, Bannister became Boston's assistant pitching coach and VP of pitching development. He was removed from the coaching staff but kept the latter title following the 2019 season.

Bannister spent five years as an MLB pitcher with the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals before pursuing a scouting/coaching career.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Chaim Bloom: Red Sox 'exploring all options' with Mookie Betts

Chaim Bloom: Red Sox 'exploring all options' with Mookie Betts

Chaim Bloom continues to take the safe approach when it comes to conversations about Mookie Betts' future in Boston.

Bloom was asked on "NESN After Hours" about Betts' contract situation with the superstar right fielder set to become a free agent after the 2020 season. According to the Boston Red Sox chief baseball officer, who was hired in October, all options remain on the table.

“Well, I mean, you’re talking about, as you said, one of the great players in the game,” Bloom said. “We are thrilled to have him, and I know this organization prior to my arrival was happy to have him. Now we have to figure out how we go forward. I think where we are as an organization, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t explore all of our options. But we do that recognizing we have a very good team and one of the best players in the game and we’re going to handle the situation accordingly.”

Watch below:

This kind of answer from Bloom is predictable, but it's telling that a possible trade involving the 2018 American League MVP hasn't been ruled out.

Boston has been adamant about its goal to cut payroll before the new campaign, and parting ways with Betts certainly would help accomplish that. If there's no indication Betts is willing to commit beyond 2020, trading him for a haul of prospects does make sense. Still, as Bloom acknowledges, Betts is one of the best players on the planet and the organization should aim to lock him up long-term.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.