NEED: Right-handed hitter who can play in the outfield.
Sorry to the Oregon State fans, but Cole Gillespie and Stefen Romero have identical .324 slugging percentages. Not really corner-outfielder stuff.
Switch-hitting Abe Almonte got Penciled in for April, but he’s been Penciled out since. And the notion of switch-hitting Nick Franklin in the outfield seems to have been quietly dropped. (Maybe because he’s not that great RH anyway.)
Willie Bloomquist? The question answers itself.
So lefties James Jones and Endy Chavez end up with the playing time by default. (Joining incumbent lefties Michael Saunders and Dustin Ackley.)
Yes, Corey Hart is on his way, and can displace John Buck (.289 SLG) or Bloomie at DH, but he won’t be in the outfield any time soon. If at all.
So that doesn’t answer the problem of essentially all of your outfielders being left-handed, plus your second baseman, your third baseman, your shortstop, and — now that Logan Morrison has “Pipped” his way in — your first baseman too.
[Sure, Ty Kelly may be an answer, but I’ve said elsewhere that he doesn’t have the hallmarks of an MLB impact player.]
This is what you call a bona fide “area of need.”
THE MENU: Not as long as you’d think.
We were able to find all the RH-hitting outfielders with at least 150 plate appearances in 2014. Then we found the ones on teams that are at least 7 games out of the Wild Card. That left us with 20. They’re sorted by OPS, and where they had at least 75 PAs vs. LHP, I’ve added that as well:
|PLAYER||TEAM||AB||H||2B||3B||HR||RBI||SB||CS||BB||SO||AVG||OBP||SLG||OPS||OPS vs. LH|
Clearly most at the bottom of the list aren’t any better than Romero (who would be near the bottom if he were on it). And a bunch are not going to be traded (for example, George Springer — another guy Seattle could have had instead of Danny Hultzen, by the way).
And there are probably a few guys from contenders who could get moved under special circumstances. Matt Kemp? Allen Craig?
I assume we’ll be coming back to this list plenty as July wears on. But, for now, have at it.