== Do we need the question mark? ==
Or is the Coveted Second Wild Card actually slipping away?
Well, the acquisition of Kendrys Morales (for reliever Stephen Pryor, one of the “surplus” righties we’ve been talking about) is probably enough reason to add the question mark.
Things seem to be slip slidin’ away, but this is a team using Endy Chavez as either right fielder or designated hitter (and pinch hitter!). Other than the occasional hot streak, nothing good will come of that. And they’ve been in possession of the Coveted Second Wild Card for weeks despite that. In other words, there’s room to get better.
Of course, the acquisition of Morales doesn’t actually provide a means for Chavez not to play right field.
He’s yet another DH and mayyyyyyyyyyybe first baseman, as the immediate demotion of DH and mayyyyyyyyyybe first baseman Jesus Montero made clear. And while DH and mayyyyyyyyyyybe first baseman Corey Hart made the cut, you’re not going to see all three on the same roster. (And Hart being pinch-hit-for by Chavez … not what you consider a vote of confidence.)
So here’s my logic:
1. They absolutely, totally, beyond any shadow of anyone’s doubt need an outfielder.
2. Morales is not an outfielder.
3. Therefore they will make another move.
They’ve already been linked Colorado’s Drew Stubbs in addition to the existing list.
I think that they don’t want to give up Nick Franklin for Marlon Byrd if they have to eat Byrd’s third-year $8 million option, but Byrd won’t waive his no-trade unless they do. The Phillies probably don’t want to cough up money to buy out the no-trade clause if they can just ship him somewhere like Cincinnati where the no-trade is not an issue. So that deal is on hold until somebody gives on something. If and when Seattle and Kansas City are the only viable options (the two plausible candidates to whom Byrd can veto a deal), then the Phils might give something up to avoid getting nothing (although Byrd is hardly their biggest contract headache going forward, he’s their most-tradable asset).
I think they think Franklin is too much to give for Dayan Viciedo alone, and the ChiSox don’t really have anything else worth packaging. If they’d give him up for a bullpenner the way we got Morales, then I’d do that, but the M’s no doubt view Byrd as preferable to the even-more-one-dimensional Viciedo.
Same thing with giving up Franklin for Stubbs’ “away” stats (2 HR; .114 ISO; 37.2% K-rate). Stubbs plays center field, though, so he gets some extra positional slack.
And it seems as if the Dodgers seem inclined to manage their situation rather than take a loss on a trade. But that might just be posturing to get the best deal they can.
Oh, yes, they played a game, too. Hisashi Iwakuma was not as overpowering as usual, and gave up 4 ER in the 3rd inning.
The offense got five singles.
Yes, let’s hope Morales can ignite something.
- Another AAA homer for Ty Kelly (his 14th). Will the M’s make the 40-man roster move to get him up to the Big Club? I’m guessing not until after they know what will happen with the trade deadline.
- Franklin was back at shortstop since Chris Taylor was promoted to the majors. Franklin had two doubles but made a throwing error at short.
- Victor Sanchez didn’t go deep into the game, but wasn’t hit too hard: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.
- High Desert had one of its scoring extravaganzas even though they were playing in Rancho Cucamonga. Home runs went on the board for: Jabari Henry (22nd), Gabriel Guerrero (11th and 12th), Tyler Marlette (11th), and Jordy Lara (21st). Lara also had two doubles.
- Marlette, by the way, is one of our more tradeable commodities, so don’t be surprised if teams are asking for him as a sweetener in any deal that goes down.
- Edwin Diaz was knocked out after just 1.2 IP, and Clinton got no offense going. Yuck.
- Everett also got slammed, but got a homer from Corey Simpson and a strong relief outing from Leoncio Munoz (4.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K).
- And Pulaski got shutout too. Same song, different verse.
- But the Arizona rookies rallied to prevail 10-9 in the 10th. Teen starter Jay Muhammad has been a shambles so far (3.0 IP, 7 ER), but the youngsters held on until center fielder Luis Liberato delivered the game winner in the extra frame. Liberato had three hits total. One-time hot prospect Guillermo Pimentel, rehabbing in Arizona, had a pair of hits.
And here’s the song: