The Red Sox trade deadline is shaping up as a matter of attrition.
Who has actually returned healthy, and more than that, looks effective?
If David Price comes back and is effective, maybe they don’t need to land a starting pitcher. If Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg – or at least one — look good, the need for a reliever might lessen.
And then there’s the great crater on the infield, third base, where injuries have taken their toll — and the least assurance exists even if everyone's healthy.
Marco Hernandez had a lot of trouble defensively at the position, so he was already low on the totem pole. But it looks like he may not contribute at all again this season, with surgery to address his left shoulder subluxation likely.
“He’s still feeling some symptoms here. It’s likely this may have to require some additional work to rectify and that would mean some procedure,” manager John Farrell said Friday. “He’s going to get re-examined. There’s likely another MRI scheduled here in the coming days to compare against the one done previous, but he has a history of this.
“Nothing to the extent it was the other day against Baltimore (when he was hurt fielding a ground ball). Things are moving in that direction. Without anything scheduled or defined, [surgery is] kind of the way things are looking right now.”
That leaves eyes on Pablo Sandoval and Brock Holt for internal options at third base, neither of which is encouraging.
Josh Rutledge has hit safely in six of his last seven games (8-for-24, .333) and has a .375 on-base percentage. Perhaps he and Sandoval can wind up in a platoon — a scenario that seemed viable in spring training before Rutledge began the season on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain.
A small piece, the Sox could pick up whenever.
But if the Sox want to go bigger at third base — or anywhere — they have to wait to see how many needs they have before directing most of their resources into one trade, for one position. (Lest they want to bankrupt the farm system, and surely, they don't... right Dave Dombrowski?)
Holt’s rehab at Triple-A Pawtucket was to include some play at third on Friday. He’s trying to come back from vertigo.
“Brock is going to play the first half of today’s game at third base,” Farrell said. “That’s an adjustment off of what the original plan was just because of weather coming in. We want him to get some reps at third base. There’s a possibility Pawtucket gets rained out the next two days, but he’s making quality strides. There’s progression along those strides. He’s going to remain with Pawtucket through the weekend and possibly beyond, but steady progress being made there.
“Panda took some ground balls earlier today. That’s the first day that he’s gotten on the field with any kind of structure around him in terms of field work. The lateral movement will be the thing we have to monitor the most.”
Hanley could play Saturday
Hanley Ramirez’s right trap seems to be coming along. He was to visit with Red Sox doctors Friday night but Farrell said Ramirez was already improved. He was not in the lineup Friday.
“Optimistically and hopeful he’ll be back in the lineup again tomorrow, but he’ll be examined here just before game time,” Farrell said.