Hey all, hope everything is going well, and that anyone affected by Hurricane Harvey is safe and well, and I also pray in advance for the people that will be affected by Hurricane Irma.
With the excitement of being in the playoff hunt, many people would focus on what’s going on now and worry about next year in the off-season, but I’m a long term kind of guy, and the success of call-ups, as well as a mid-career renaissance or two, have left us with a variety of options for next year. Today we’ll look at the outfield.
Going into the season, we had penciled in a starting outfield of Randall Grichuk, Dexter Fowler, and Stephen Piscotty.
Now things look a little different.
We’ve had not one but two guys with a mid-career re-birth in Tommy Pham and Jose Martinez.
Pham, 29, has a .311/.408/.517 slash line with 19 homers in 440 Plate Appearances (PA’s) while Martinez, 28, has a .310/.374/.567 slash line with 13 homers in 228 PA’s.
Grichuk struggled early and only has a .238 BA, but he has flashed his power and has 19 homers so far. Piscotty also struggled and hasn’t shown the power he had last year when he hit 22 homers (he has 8), but he currently has a solid .351 OBP. Fowler started slowly, but currently, has a solid .262/.361/.483 slash line with 19 homers in 424 PA’s.
So that’s 5 guys for 3 spots.
Oh, I almost forgot, there’s that Bader kid.
Rookie Harrison Bader, our top AAA hitting prospect, is doing better in his second trip to the bigs, hitting 3 homers in 5 games since being called up.
6 guys, 3 spots.
Obviously, we’ll have utility OF’s, likely 2 of them. Unless the 6th guy embraces his inner Ben Zobrist, that leaves one man out. Who would that be?
I think Pham has earned his shot, and I’d start him in left over Grichuk, Fowler and his contract aren’t going anywhere, and even without the power, I like Piscotty in right.
Grichuk, Martinez, Bader. Who stays and who goes?
I think Bader would benefit from the big league experience and have been impressed with Martinez. That leaves Grichuk.
While he’s always had power, Grichuk has had the bad combo of a lot of strikeouts and a low OBP. I would shop him in the off-season and see if we can’t get a decent prospect or two for him.
As always, thanks for reading.