Silent no more…even more…

As promised (warned?), now what I want to do with the position players:

Immediate moves, in no particular order:

*Release/trade if you can Mike Napoli.  The final nail in the coffin may have been Tuesday night.  0 for 4 with 4 K’s.  Golden Sombrero.  Batting 8th in the lineup, mind you.  He should’ve been planted on the bench long ago.  But there is always that “hot streak” everyone is waiting for.  He had great series against his former team, the Angels, like a month ago.  And like 70 forgettable games otherwise.  Time to pull the plug.  Someone MAY actually give you a low level prospect or something.  Let’s do that before he plummets even further.

If you want to recall Allen Craig and give him one last shot at 1B…since the team is on the hook for another 2 years and 20 mil (plus a 2018 13 mil option or 1 mil buyout)…I could go with that.  Maybe regular playing time at a position he is actually suited for (not the LF & RF he was playing in Boston) would work.  Hey, he is hitting .286 with a .422 OBP at Pawtucket…so maybe…but I like the next idea better.

*Move Hanley Ramirez to first base.  What, you don’t want to stunt his progress in left field?  What progress?  But really, who cares if he can’t play left?  The Sox have a laundry list of guys that were poor left fielders.  The whole thing is overblown, I say.  His effort level is not overblown, but didn’t everyone know that he was a loafer (to be kind)?  Especially the dudes who actually gave him all that cash?

In any event, don’t tell me he can’t play first.  Considering he was a shortstop and sometimes third baseman in his career.  Let him finish the year there…since this year doesn’t matter anyway.

*Keep sitting David Ortiz against lefties and DH Hanley when that happens.  I personally think Big Papi has something left.  But perhaps not against lefties.  .289/10/27 against RHP and .122/0/4 against LHP (9 for 74).  Yikes!  But it’s only natural that he slow down someday.  And it’s not all because of the expanded strike zone, as Papi and the Sox radio announcers would have you believe.  (Aside…PLEASE Joe Castig and Dave O’B.  You don’t have to keep excusing Papi’s and Napoli’s lack of performance this year because of the expanded strike zone EVERY AT BAT.  Thank you.).

Hanley obviously should eventually be the DH.  Papi’s 2016 option will likely kick in later in the year.  He needs 425 plate appearances and was at 267 at last glance.  Fine.  See if he can get his 500 homers (and 600 doubles!) over the next year and a half (24 homers and 41 doubles away…not sure why I care about two-baggers, but 600 is a nice number).  Then give him his 2017 option as a parting gift and let Hanley finish out his contract at DH.

*Keep Blake Swihart as the everyday catcher when Ryan Hanigan returns.  My fear is that because Swihart was recalled earlier than what they wanted, he would go back to AAA when some catchers were healthy.  I still fear it.  But what’s the point now?  He has his average up to .239 and seems to be holding his own all around, so why bother?  Make Hanigan the backup, dispatch Sandy Leon and now, Erik Kratz back to the minors (as if they won’t clear waivers) and move on…

*Recall Jackie Bradley Jr. and install him in CF the rest of the way.  You may say Mookie Betts has handled center well.  You may say JBJ still can’t hit in the majors.  You may be right.  But JBJ is still hitting .316 with a .394 OBP down in AAA.  Maybe he has changed some habits.  Maybe not.  But don’t go by the 0 for 11 in the majors earlier in the year.  Farrell and the team set him up to fail.  The at-bats were inconsistent and they were against a knuckleballer (RA Dickey) and 2 aces (Sonny Gray and King Felix).  His glove is undeniable.  Why not let him run with it for the 2nd half?  Betts moves to right in this scenario (and possibly 2B?  More thoughts on that coming up).

*Release Shane Victorino.  You think Masterson can be a problem?  Wait ‘til this guy gets back on the active roster and sees nowhere to play.  Or the likes of Alejandro de Aza or Daniel Nava when he comes back getting AB’s in his place.  Ugly.  Not to mention Farrell will probably just hand him his job back, or try to anyway.  Not ideal.  Ditch this distraction ASAP.

Longer term:

*Let Rusney Castillo get some games in down at Pawtucket.  Fine.  But you paid him big dough for 6 more years.  No sense in leaving him there.  He has taken some heat for seemingly “not knowing how to play the game of baseball” around these parts in recent weeks.  Haven’t seen every game he has played, but that seems a little harsh.  These same people loved him last September and in the spring.  Seems silly to start killing him after only 77 MLB plate appearances this year.

When you bring him back, he plays left.  Maybe that works better, who knows?  He can spot in the other OF positions when needed.  But leave him out there to play, for better or for worse.

For the sake of completeness, Xander Bogaerts is at SS (Duh!).  Fat Panda sticks at 3B (what else can you do with him…and that contract?!).  Brock Holt continues to spot all over, plays left until Castillo comes back, plays 1B when Hanley DH’s, fills in for rest days at 2B, 3B, SS, CF, RF..etc.  But as long as he’s hitting, he plays every day.

Oops…one more note, likely an off-season consideration:

*Investigate trading Dustin Pedroia.  WHAAAAAAAT???!!!  BLASPHEMY!!!  WHO IS THIS IDIOT HACK WRITING THIS???!!

Yup.  Hard for me to write, I admit.  But consider the facts:

-He will be 32 in August.  His value will not increase.

-Plays 150% EVERY SINGLE PLAY.  Something to admire for sure.  But not of the biggest stature and that style of play would seemingly tend to take its toll.  (See Youkilis, Kevin…who played the same way, had a bigger body that would seemingly handle the wear and tear better…and was out of baseball at age 34).

-Had lingering hand/wrist injuries that he played through in 2013 & 2014…and will always play through those types of things, probably accelerating the “aging” process.

-Now seems to have some sort of knee issue, that again, he will play through and not give time to heal.  Likely affecting his game certainly the remainder of this year at the very least.

-On the hook for 6 more years after this year, for 84 million total.

-Glove is still top notch, though he has made a couple of silly errors this year.  Nitpicking, I know.  But the highlight here is that his glove is still stout and valuable.  Don’t lose sight of that.

-Have in house replacements available…one on the current roster (Betts), one that the Sox paid 63 million for this offseason (Yoan Moncada, though a ways away still of course).

Can’t argue those.  I’m not saying to run out and deal Pedroia for a bag of balls and a couple of fungo bats.  But the GM wouldn’t be doing his job if he didn’t test the waters.  It is tough to suggest, seeing Pedroia’s value to the team over his career.  But Jon Lester got traded, no?  Everyone is available for the right price.  At least that is the way it should be.  I don’t expect anything to happen.  But his trade value should be assessed, no doubt in my mind.

Those are my thoughts.  Yours?



About mpdenton

I am a passionate and life long fan of the local teams...and by local I mean New England. I remember the days of Ray Bourque, Larry Bird, Steve Grogan and Wade Boggs...meaning I have lived the highs and lows of the Boston sports scene. With all this pent up Boston sports emotion, I clearly have a lot to say about the local teams and sometimes about sports in general. Maybe even the Revolution... I appreciate you reading my blog and hope you enjoy my rants.

Posted on June 24, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Good to see Ben make a brilliant move and send Kelly to AAA, so I guess he did end up trading Lackey for some of the Cardinal’s minor league “talent”

    • I love how they keep talking about Machine Gun Kelly’s “potential”. Do they realize he turned 27 a couple weeks ago? Ummmmm…getting a little late for “potential”. And now he is shipped back to AAA. Nice.

      • Maybe it is because we live in Boston, but I honestly believe that this team is one of the most marketing/BS driven sports organizations. It is nauseating…

      • No question this organization seems to make too many decisions based on marketing. You are correct, since we do live in Boston and see it firsthand…and often, no doubt it has an effect on how we view it. You would think it is a focus of other teams as well and likely is, it just doesn’t seem like it. It doesn’t help when the Sox are extremely blatant about it…and have more money than most teams to spend on it…so there you go…

  2. Oh I would absolutely positively look to move Pedroia. Unlike you I might take a bucket of batting practice baseballs and fungo bats. The length of his contract is an absolute albatross. Especially when you consider it is forcing a player, one that is a good prospect to the OF, and the Red Sox paid a boat load of cash for another Cuban…who projects at 2nd. For those reasons, they have to explore the possibility of moving Pedroia. He also doesn’t project to become a DH later in his contract. But I highly doubt this will ever be considered, let alone done. Ben has zero backbone. And I think that Henry and Werner are such image idiots that they will fear “backlash” from the pink hats. Maybe Uncle Larry is in the same boat, but he seems more ruthless.

    I know this is blasphemy but I would look at moving Papi. I realize that market is very very narrow. But seeing some of the absolute bums teams are rolling out at DH and I think you could be able to find a half decent prospect for a rental bat. But again I am sure they will not dare move Big Papi….

    • We are 2 of the few that would investigate dealing Pedey. The contract is an issue, based on length. But at least the dollars are reasonable. So it would hopefully not completely hinder a potential deal. The fact that yes, he won’t be a DH down the road, that is also a factor, great point. I don’t believe it will be considered either, certainly as long as all the current people are in their current roles.

      I’m ok with keeping Papi around…for several reasons. You are correct the market is narrow. Not many teams will pay for a soon to be 40 year old DH whose option will most assuredly kick in next year…and increase the dollars the more plate appearances he gets. They won’t pay him the dollars, nor the Red Sox in prospects. Many teams use the DH now as kind of a rotating position…giving guys rest, etc. That’s probably the reason it looks like there are some bums playing there. What looks like the “everyday” DH’s, other than Ortiz, seems like a solid list (Victor Martinez, Gattis, Morales, Encarnacion, Fielder, A-Fraud, etc). So there actually aren’t even technically many teams to deal him to. He can still crush righties. The Sox would never trade him for a lot of these reasons…PLUS, they would get hammered by the pink hats. His attitude is obviously sometimes tiring, but I wouldn’t blame the Sox for keeping him around. Just doesn’t seem like it would really be a benefit to deal him in many respects. Now, if a team came out of nowhere with a crazy offer, of course. But that’s not realistic…

      • I realize most teams use the DH as a rotating “rest” spot, but I remember the Angels coming in and having some stiff at DH. I know they rotate Pujols in that spot but just a quick peak and they are also using Matty Joyce in that role. Again, I know it will never happen but if Ben were a real salesman he could approach a team like that with real World Series aspirations and try to sell Papi. He could DH against righties and be a big bat off the bench. Come play off time that would be a huge card to play late in games etc.

        As for Pedroia, I really would love to see them move him. He might be the only player with value – not counting the “kids.” That contract really hinders the team, not because of the money but the length. It feels worse that the Jeter situation with the Yankees. From what I can tell they did not have anything in the minors at shortstop that was being blocked by Jetes. Plus Jeter could have move to DH or the outfield, neither of which is an option for Pedroia.

        Bottom line it feels like this team is a giant pile of crap. A big mess. And to think we thought when we fleeced the Dodgers to take our over paid trash that we had a new lease on life…well I guess we won a WS…but after the last two seasons that feels like a life time ago.

      • Matty Joyce…former All-Star!! In all seriousness though, I think the Angels had planned to put Pujols there more than they have and play 25 year old CJ Cron play 1B more…since he had 11 bombs in a half season last year. But he has been atrocious this year, so they shipped him back to AAA. I’m sure he will be back soon enough though, so doubtful they would pay for Papi. I don’t totally disagree with dangling him, I just believe there is zero chance of him being moved for multiple reasons, so I’ve just accepted that.

        As for that Dodgers trade, I still consider it a win for the Sox, though a lot around here don’t. They did win the World Series yup, but they also got out from under 3 huge deals. Josh Beckett pitched serviceable over 35 starts for them…but that was over 2.5 years. And no one knew that he would retire early and the contract would go away then. Carl Crawford remains useless. Tough to give up Adrian Gonazalez, but well, he’s a better fit on the West Coast, let’s leave it at that. And Nick Punto…whatever. It’s too bad that none of the 5 players the Sox got didn’t pan out. Though Rubby and Webster were really the only ones that were worth it in that deal. And since we turned them into Wade Miley, when Miley becomes a superst…ummmm, nevermind…

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