Skip to main content

Promotion Pecking Order Isn't Just About Talent or Impact

It's that time of the Major League season: the time when injuries being mounting up for every team, ineffective play forces teams to cut bait, and trades start becoming possible.  The Red Sox have some choices to make and here's what they should do:
  • They should send young infielder Marco Hernandez back to Pawtucket and, a la Swihart and Betts before him, have him play mostly leftfield.  Clearly the Sox like his bat in the majors now.  He's not going to play regularly on the infield with Brock Holt, Josh Rutledge, and - at shortstop if Bogaerts were to go down - Deven Merrero are all ahead of him as backups. With Swihart down for a while, Holt hurt and struggling with the bat, there is room for Hernandez as the lefthanded sub for Chris Young in left.  Otherwise, I don't see the value in having him on the roster.
  • When they send down Marco, bring up Bryce Brentz.  He's hitting well in Pawtucket, 27 years old, taking up a 40 man roster slot, and seemingly healthy.  He can play corner outfield with a crazy arm.  If he catches fire with his raw power, ride that out.  If not, cut him loose, bring up Ryan LeMarre.
  • Send down Rusney Castillo until - or if - he gets going with the bat at Pawtucket.  He's basically a pinch runner right now when he needs to learn how to hit.  The aforementioned outfielders are better suited to backup outfield duty as they have lower upsides and less to learn from more time in Triple-A.
  • Roenis Elias is the new fifth starter for the Sox.  There's really not another option.  Henry Owens cannot throw a strike (Henry, please try a smaller windup.  That seems to help tall pitchers).  Brian Johnson is out for now.  Joe Kelly was a disaster and will probably end up in the pen.  Buchholz needs more work and I don't think he'll start again until after the All Star break.  Elias has been pitching great in Pawtucket lately and has 49 career major league starts so he's solid, experienced option.
  • Let's just say it: if Andrew Benindendi looks good in Portland over the next month or so, he will likely get a shot to be the Sox starting left fielder for the stretch run this year.  That's the model the Cubs used with Kyle Schwarber and, aside from the injury this year, that worked out well.  I give it a 50/50 shot that we see him in Boston this fall. 
  • Henry Ramos making it to Pawtucket after a few years of injury and stalling at Portland is an interesting development for the system.  He seems like someone who could get hot and break through to the point of helping in the majors over the next few years if he can stay on the field.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hanley Exits Stage Right

Hanley Ramirez has been released by the Red Sox.  With Pedey coming back, this had occurred to me as an option but a very unlikely one.  It seemed like having three catchers was a luxury they couldn't afford, or they'd send Brock Holt down temporarily or put Nunez on the DL just because he really is always injured so why not.

In the end though, they realized keeping Hanley didn't make sense.  If he came out of his slump, you're likely going to get stuck with him for next year or have a conflict with him and the fans when you bench a productive player.  But it was more likely he'd have good moments but never be all that good.  He's been terrible for about 3 weeks now.  Cutting bait with Hanley means you have more money for next year (Kimbrel & Mookie perhaps), you don't have the headache of however he's going to act if/when you bench him, and you keep other options on your roster.  As for the money, you're already spending it either way so don…

JD Martinez and Red Sox Depth

The Sox have signed JD Martinez; so, that's good.  His track record, personal reports on work ethic and attitude (aka lessons learns from Panda mania), and the fact that he's seen most of his success in the American League point to this being as sure a success as you can have in free agency.  He is getting a hefty pay check while the Sox aren't locked down for 6, 7 or Hosmer years.

Taking as a given that Martinez will be an outstanding hitter in the middle of the lineup, this signing - along with the signing of Eduardo Nunez earlier in the weekend - gives this Red Sox offense the most depth they have had since the 2013 champions.  That team taught us that it makes good baseball sense to go a few players deep at each position if you can, and to not obsess with how you'll find at bats for everyone.  Here we go again with that approach.

The 2018 Red Sox are remarkably deep and flexible.  When someone gets hurt, the likelihood is that that player will be replaced in the l…

Opening Day & Possible Unlikely 2018 Contributors & Breakthroughs

It's opening day and the Sox are playing the Rays.  While the beauty of baseball is that any team can beat any other team on any given day, the Sox should - and need to - dominate the Rays this season.  The Rays are going to try a 4 man rotation (a very good idea btw with the way the game is trending) - but then they lost one of those four.  Rumor is that they are close to signing Charlie Hough.  Their best player is Kevin Kiermaier whose very solid, but essentially their best player is Jackie Bradley, Jr.  Even if Wilson Ramos returns to All Star form and C.J. Cron finally becomes decent, this will be a pretty bad team.  They'll get a jolt when star SS prospect Willy Adames arrives but otherwise the Sox need to feast on the Rays this year if they hope to win the division.

The Sox opening day lineup meanwhile has a couple of sorta-surprises from where we started spring.  Hanley is starting at 1B over Mitch Moreland despite a righty starter, and Christian Vazquez is catching Chr…