Let me preface this piece by stating that this is pretty unlikely, considering all the problems this team carries with it. However, if there were any team in the entire MLB to make this kind of run from where they are right now, it’s the Red Sox.
As crazy as it sounds, the Red Sox are not out of it. Thank lord for the pedestrian AL East, right? If only the Sox could win against the other AL East teams, it would really, REALLY help their chances. However, in order to do this, the Red Sox need to make some changes. Here are the changes could help the Sox climb back into this.
1a) Trade Mike Napoli
He was great in 2013, but he is severely struggling at the plate. It hurts to watch. The strange thing is, although he is batting under the Mendoza line (.200 BA), I am sure teams in the playoff hunt will still find value in him, especially since he will be a rent-a-player for half a year. You could get something in return for him.
1b) Split DH Role With Hanley & Ortiz
In terms of the Red Sox, trading a flailing Napoli frees up some options for you. You can take the train-wreck that is Hanley Ramirez out of left field for some games and DH and play Ortiz at 1st Base, move Hanley to 1st Base, or move Panda to 1B and Hanley to 3B. I think I’m in the majority here when I say, try to DH Hanley as much as possible. Ortiz can play a surprisingly decent first base, but I don’t he nor the Red Sox want him out there all the time. It sucks Hanley gives a crap effort in left field, but it seems like you won’t get through to him. This is the situation you’re in, and this could be a solution.
2a) Put Porcello on the DL
Porcello is the pitching counterpart of Napoli’s hitting and Hanley’s fielding. They are all part of the problem. It’s a shame that Porcello has hit this funk. We all know he’s better than this. There’s discussion that they may skip a few of his starts, but it might make sense to put him on the DL. He can have through All-Star break off, and then he work out his stuff with a few starts in the minor leagues, similar to Joe Kelly.