The Kid is Alright

Manny Ramirez appears to be back in business.  He has entered one of his prodigious offensive streaks and shame on any of us for counting him out.  Actually, I think all of us counted him out at some point this season, but he is back.  We won’t be fooled again.

Manny in July through Thursday’s game:  .368/.473/.697 for an OPS of 1.170.

But of continued concern is the lack of production from David Ortiz.  To say he isn’t producing isn’t entirely fair, he is playing well above league average, but he isn’t playing well for David Ortiz.  He has 16 HR’s thus far, but should be double that if he wanted to come close to the 54 HR’s he hit in 2006.  Essentially, Ortiz is right on target for Avg and OBP, but way off for SLG.

So with the trade deadline upon us, here are a few of the names that have been kicked around.

Ty Wiggington – A utility infielder with pop.  24 HR’s in 2006, 15 so far in 2007.  He’d be a nice addition.

Jermaine Dye – Mired in a slump all season.  He has hit 6 HR’s since the break, but his average and obp are still way off.  He’d be a welcome addition, but not necessarily better than what Boston has on its roster today.  If the 2006 Dye shows up, that’s a much different story.

Mark Teixeira – Solid offensive weapon with .900 OPS potential.  Drawbacks are that he is going to cost a ton in talent to acquire and would force either Youkilis or Lowell to sit.  If the Red Sox are certain they aren’t going to re-sign Lowell for 2008, then it might be a deal worth making.

Andy LaRoche – Brother of Adam, LaRoche struggled to start the season in Los Angeles but has hit well at AAA since his demotion.  He has smacked AAA pitching around, but otherwise remains unproven.  Because he is a top prospect, he will be expensive yet won’t guarantee any results at the major league level.

Todd Helton – Helton is again without the power he had in the early part of this decade, but he gets on base and hits for a solid average…kind of like Kevin Youkilis.  In fact, check out this 2007 comparison:

Youk – .312/.407/.469, 58 R, 9 HR, 48 RBI

Helt – .303/.429/.458, 47 R, 9 HR, 55 RBI

They are pretty close except Helton makes $16.6m and Youkilis makes $425k.  I say let Helton stay in Colorado.

Reggie Sanders – Too old and injury prone.  He isn’t the dynamic player the Red Sox could use.

Operating under the idea that the Red Sox are not willing to sit JD Drew and Julio Lugo (who also has broken out of his slump) because of how much they make, just where are the Red Sox going to improve themselves offensively?  I think it just might be on the bench (hello Wiggington).

So there you have it, I think the Red Sox can improve with a trade for Wiggington.  I suppose if you think the risk/reward is palatable in trading for Andruw Jones (and moving Crisp), then he is one idea too.  But if the Red Sox aren’t willing to unload their top prospects, then I think a mid-level upgrade is the only thing we’ll see by Tuesday 4pm, a/k/a the non-waiver trade deadline.

BTW, Curt Schilling made his 2nd rehab start tonight and posted this line:

5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO – 66 pitches, 44 strikes.  My guess is 1 more rehab start to build up the pitch count and then back to Boston.  So that would mean his ETA in the Boston rotation is Monday August 6th.