By David Little – @DLittleMLB
A victory in Toronto on Canada day was a huge accomplishment especially when we win by 6 runs. This team shows these true flashes of brilliance, where it seems that they can really put it together and challenge teams like the Dodgers and Astros. But I always feel this slight hesitation. This hesitation lies in two major areas. First is our pitching staff, namely our bullpen. Second, and sorry for beating a dead horse, but third base.
I won’t dive into the third base position as its been covered. Quickly, we don’t have the pieces to trade for a Moustakas type. Or rather we shouldn’t trade those pieces as we try to recover from frequent trades in the last few years. We have Devers rapidly progressing in the minors right now, and he looks like he will be part of our youth core for years. And we need to see what’s going on with Jhonny Peralta, our veteran on a minor league deal. I could see him being serviceable as he has had good flashes in the past. If not, a guy like Martin Prado, an excellent locker room piece and off the field guy, could most likely be had on the cheap. The dark horse, and the most likely candidate for a trade for me is Jed Lowrie. He’s having a great year, with a OPS at .843 and would be a reunion in the case of a deal. His injury history scares me, but hopefully Brock Holt comes back (expected to be out until July 14th) and will be able to play and balance the time. On that note though, could a healthy Brock Holt be the answer we need? Something to think about.
As for a relief pitcher. I have two frames of thought on this as well. We have Carson Smith in rehab mode, and he could be a huge add if he comes together. But can we really sit until the deadline and wait and see? Again, this team could be poised for a big run, and I would rather add a piece then roll the dice on Carson. Joe Kelly has been phenomenal, but as I have tweeted before I don’t really trust it. Dont get me wrong, Kelly was once a big name prospect for the Cardinals, but his track record is just not there as of yet. Can we really rely on him? I guess time will tell, but again, I don’t like rolling the dice.
With all that in mind, RP would be an acquisition designed to increase our chances in the back end. We have been linked to another Ex-Brave in Mike Minor, and he’s a guy that could most likely be had on the cheap by offering up a lottery type piece, a high ceiling, hard to project guy. A guy like Minor could come in an really ease the pressure on guys like Kelly and to a lesser extent Barnes. Having multiple above replacement level guys never hurts, when you have 80 plus games left on the season.
All of this is speculation as always, and a lot depends on the health of many of our players, especially our vets like Pedroia and Ramirez, but speculation sometimes leads to fruition. Not only could I see guys like Prado and Minor being here, But I expect Dombrowski to do something, as he knows we all have high aspirations for this team. Hold tight, this time in baseball is fast and furious, and it’s a great time to be a fan of the game.