Welcome to this week’s edition of Read Sox. This week, we’ll touch upon Mike Napoli’s slump, a weird and crazy Josh Reddick trade rumor and the Brock Star being named an All-Star.
Will the real Mike Napoli please stand up? While the first baseman remains optimistic that he’ll break out of his season-long slump, Tim Britton writes that his grip on a starting job has lessened considerably. Travis Shaw and David Ortiz – David Ortiz – are both stealing starts from him at the position. Other than the one week where Napoli hit anything the Los Angeles Angels threw at him, he’s been dismal, posting a .192/.294/.358 triple slash to this point. The most optimistic solution now would be to platoon him with Shaw and hope climbs out of the hole he’s been digging. If he can find his stroke again, he can help a Red Sox team that’s on the rise.
You remember Josh Reddick, right? The guy the Red Sox traded to the Oakland Athletics for Andrew Bailey? Apparently the Angels wanted him, and as Marc Normandin notes, that Reddick-to-Anaheim pipe dream fell apart real fast. Despite fielding the best player in baseball in their outfield on a daily basis, the Angels are pretty thin on depth at that position, and were looking to pry away the talented right fielder from the A’s. Thing is, the A’s would’ve had to been overwhelmed to even consider moving Reddick, and the Angels didn’t have the chips to pony up for such a transaction. No one wants to give up legitimate assets for one Single-A pitcher. I still love you Jerry Dipoto, resignation and all, but this wasn’t your best idea.
Brock Holt is an All-Star. I know, I still can’t believe that is a true statement. Other than being our second-favorite player to call “scrappy” and “gritty”, Holt is garnering a reputation as a grinder throughout the league: he does a lot of things well and makes you work to get him out. He’s a jack of all trades, but a master of none, and that suits him very well indeed.
Before Holt leaves for Cincinnati, the Red Sox have some work to do. This is a crucial week for the team, Rob Bradford says, as the Red Sox can miraculously close the gap between them and the AL East-leading New York Yankees to a half-game. After all the ineptitude, the underachieving and the injuries, the fact that the Red Sox can put themselves back into the fray of the playoff race has to be an exhilarating thought.
On top of that, stringing some victories together could decide whether the Red Sox are buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, Ricky Doyle writes. The Red Sox don’t have a lot of pieces they could sell in the first place, and the team has the minor league depth to pull off a blockbuster for, say, a starting pitcher at the end of July. This team isn’t dead yet.
It’s the time of year for the midseason prospect reports, and Baseball America has named five Red Sox prospects to their midseason top 50 list. The group is lead by Yoan Moncada at 12, and the Red Sox still boast two more prospects within the top 25. It’s amazing what scouting and some international signings will do for a farm system.
Three Good Game Stories
He might be an All-Star snub, but as Jason Mastrodonato writes, Xander Bogaerts opened his case to win the Final Vote on Tuesday, cranking out a go-ahead three-run single against the Miami Marlins.
Hanley Ramirez is unbelievably strong. That much we know. That strength is what helped him hit the go-ahead home run on a pitch at his ankles on Sunday, and as Jimmy Toscano says, could help him on his golf game in the future.
Clay Buchholz is the ace, guys. There. Debate over. A complete game against the American League’s best team on Saturday cemented that, and Jen McCaffrey says it boosted his value immensely, to both the Sox and other teams.
Photo by Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports Images