Cherington believes effort is there for Red Sox

General manager says 'I don't see any lack of accountability'

Cherington believes effort is there for Red Sox

BOSTON -- Through the first 42 games this season, there are few denying the Red Sox's pervasive and persistent woes on offense. Whether the club can recover from the slow start, however, is another matter -- one general manager Ben Cherington discussed at length on Saturday.

Cherington's overarching theme was simple: The struggles of 2015 do not reflect how the Red Sox have approached their issues from an effort standpoint. To point fingers at the character of the clubhouse, he explained, would be issuing false blame.

"I don't see any lack of accountability," Cherington said. "I see effort, I see work, I see accountability after games when they don't go well. I see guys being honest about themselves."

As for what the Red Sox can do to improve on the offensive end, Cherington believes the club's slumping veteran hitters should return to form and the young hitters should make strides to fulfill their potential.

"By and large, we have guys who either are or I believe will hit in 2015," Cherington said. "There's always going to be adjustments throughout the season. Look up and down the group of players we have, most either have already performed some or we believe they will based on quality at-bats or a recent trend."

Should Boston manage to regain the production it displayed in April, the underwhelming American League East remains very much up for grabs. Entering Saturday, the Red Sox were just 4 1/2 games behind the division-leading Rays.

"I think we have an opportunity. We've been given time to iron out some of our issues and improve in certain areas," Cherington said. "The division is pretty much what we thought it was. Competitive, flawed. Every team has strengths, every team has weaknesses. We're one of those. I still think we have as good an opportunity as any other teams in the division to win and be right there at the end. That doesn't mean we can just wait for it to happen. I know that we've got to find ways to get better."

And the Red Sox have plenty of talented prospects stashed away in the event they are buyers at this year's non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"I think if we can hang in there and play better baseball, which I think we will, we'll certainly look for ways to get better," Cherington said.

Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.