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.
*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?
Posted on June 24, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged Allen Craig, Big Panda, Big Papi, Blake Swihart, Boston Red Sox, Brock Holt, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Fat Panda, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., Kevin Youkilis, Mike Napoli, MLB, Mookie Betts, Pablo Sandoval, Rusney Castillo, Ryan Hanigan, Shane Victorino, Xander Bogaerts, Yoan Moncada. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.