Bryce Brentz, who has 20 home runs in Pawtucket, could help provide a spark in the Red Sox lineup. Photo Courtesy of MiLB.com
The Red Sox currently sit atop the AL East, but must improve in order to make a deep playoff run. One need for the club is a new power bat. Boston currently ranks last in the American League with just 97 home runs, while their SLG percentage and OPS also fall in the bottom half of the AL.
Part of this is in fact to the lack of production at the designated hitter and first baseman positions. Hanley has produced more as of late, but still just sits at 37 RBIs on the season (finished with 111 last season). After a strong start from Mitch Moreland, a broken toe has drastically hindered his production. Since June 28, Moreland is 8-for-63 with just one extra base hit and one RBI.
Moreland's poor plate performance could open the Red Sox eyes to the first baseman trade market. A player like Yonder Alonso would be a perfect fit, but could come at a high price. With the additional needs for bullpen arms and a new third baseman, prospects to pull off three deals could be slim.
However, perhaps the Red Sox could provide a power spark in their lineup without dealing away prospects. Down in Pawtucket sits outfielder Bryce Brentz, who has appeared in 34 games for Boston since 2014.
In those 34 games, Brentz hit just one home run. In Pawtucket this season, the righty has already slugged 20 homers along with winning the Triple-A Home Run Derby. Brentz would certainly be no guarantee to carry that power over to the majors, but he could provide more production than Moreland.
One problem however is Brentz has no experience playing first or third base, and there is no room for him in the outfield. The way this solution would work is to have Brentz be the designated hitter while Hanley moves to first and Moreland could take time off to heal his toe fully.
But Hanley hasn't been the biggest fan of playing first this season. This season, Hanley has taken time off after playing one game at first three times. After suiting up the other night for the 15 inning marathon, Hanley has been absent from the lineup the last two games.
After his walk-off bomb the other night, Hanley did drop an interesting line, "We are here to win championships," said Ramirez.
If Hanley is truly in this to win championships, perhaps he realizes playing first and giving Brentz a shot a designated hitter would benefit the club the most.