Red Sox look to help Jon Denney

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Boston Red Sox prospect Jon Denney likely will not engage in on-field activities as the organization constructs a program to help him in the wake of Thursday's arrest on a misdemeanor charge of driving with a suspended license, general manager Ben Cherington said before Saturday night's game.

"We certainly take the incident seriously," Cherington said. "As we would with any other players, we're trying to address his needs and help him any way we can. Certainly, he has some work to do."

Cherington said the organization was not aware of any issues Denney had when it selected the 19-year-old catcher in the third round of last year's draft, but this is Denney's second incident in the past three months. He was arrested on Dec. 7, 2013, in Washington County, Ark., for disorderly conduct, minor in possession of alcohol and littering after police said they witnessed Denney throwing a bottle of Malibu Black Rum into oncoming traffic.

Cherington said Denney, ranked by SoxProspects.com as the organization's No. 32 prospect, had been curtailed during spring training by a minor wrist issue.

He said that in the two days since the arrest, the club has been gathering information and interviewing Denney, trying to ascertain what happened and what needs to be done from this point on. He declined to say whether professional counseling will be part of the program.

"We have resources available both within the team and outside the team that can be used that aren't necessarily employed by the Red Sox," Cherington said. "I think we have all the resources that he needs to help him. We're just in the middle of putting that program together. He's showed remorse. He needs to fulfill the expectation we have for him and complete that program. I can't say anything more than that. We'll just have to see how that goes."

This is the third straight spring that has featured an embarrassing arrest involving a Red Sox player. Last year, pitcher Drake Britton was arrested for DUI and reckless driving after leading police on a chase during which he traveled 111 mph in a 45 mph zone in his pickup truck. In 2012, pitcher Bobby Jenks was arrested on two counts of DUI, property damage and leaving the scene of a crash following a visit to a strip club.

"We think any time something like this happens, it's a concern," Cherington said. "It's not something that represents the organization the way we want to be represented. It's not something that's part of being a professional baseball player. So we have to take it seriously.

"We need to take each case individually and respond and address each need individually based on the totality of information and the history and everything. That's what we will continue to do. We understand that there's more to playing on the field, performing on the field, not just as a baseball player, but we're all representing the organization in some way, and that kind of behavior is unacceptable."

Denney was released Thursday after posting $500 bail. His court date is set for March 31.

Denney was projected to be selected much earlier in the 2013 draft -- mlb.com rated him as the 20th-best prospect -- but after falling to the third round (81st overall), he ended up getting an $875,000 signing bonus. He hit .203 in 26 games with the organization's Gulf Coast rookie league team and is projected to start this season with the Class A Greenville Drive.