The 2022 Substitute-Stage Killers: Second Base and Shortstop

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports activities

Whereas nonetheless focusing upon groups that meet the unfastened definition of contenders (a .500 file or Playoff Odds of at the very least 10%), and which have gotten about 0.6 WAR or much less to this point — which prorates to 1.0 WAR over a full season — this yr I’ve integrated our Depth Charts’ rest-of-season WAR projections into the equation for a further perspective. Generally that will recommend that the staff will clear the bar by a major margin, besides, I’ve included them right here as a result of the staff’s efficiency at that spot is value a glance.

As famous beforehand, a few of these conditions are extra dire than others, significantly when taken within the context of the remainder of their roster. I don’t anticipate each staff to exit and monitor down an improve earlier than the August 2 deadline, and I’m much less involved with the options – a lot of which have extra transferring components concerned than a single commerce — than the issues.

2022 Substitute-Stage Killers: Second Base

Staff AVG OBP SLG wRC+ Bat BsR Fld WAR ROS WAR Tot WAR
Rays .195 .267 .330 75 -11.0 0.3 -1.5 0.1 1.8 1.9
White Sox .220 .265 .329 68 -13.8 0.2 2.4 0.2 0.6 0.8
Mariners .215 .282 .308 73 -12.6 0.0 4.6 0.6 1.0 1.6

Statistics by means of July 25. ROS = Relaxation-of-season WAR, by way of our Depth Charts.

Rays

After hitting for a 137 wRC+ with 39 homers en path to a 5.0 WAR season in 2021, Brandon Lowe helped the Rays high this yr’s preseason Positional Power Rankings. However he hit simply .177/.250/.316 (66 wRC+) with three homers in April and was sidelined by a stress response in his decrease again in mid-Could, lacking two months. The Rays used 5 different gamers on the spot in his absence, with Vidal Bruján (.189/.229/.233), Isaac Paredes (.164/.282/.377), and Taylor Walls (.125/.204/.188) all various levels of dreadful in making 14–24 begins at second.

Fortunately, Lowe was activated off the injured checklist simply earlier than the All-Star break and has hit .435/.458/.652 in 24 PA since returning, lifting his line to .248/.318/.454 (123 wRC+). Between him and Paredes, who has homered 13 occasions in 191 PA and hit .216/.293/.485 (123 wRC+) total whereas taking part in third, second, and first base, the Rays most likely have sufficient protection on the place. The more pressing infield need is definitely at shortstop, the place Partitions (.173/.254/.282, 59 wRC+ total) is taking part in often whereas Wander Franco recovers from July 12 surgical procedure to restore a fractured hamate bone; he’s most likely out for an additional three to 6 weeks.

Thus, a shortstop who may additionally assist at second could be commerce goal. The Rockies’ José Iglesias is a pending free agent, and the Marlins’ Miguel Rojas is signed by means of subsequent yr, albeit at simply $5 million. Paul DeJong, who fell out of favor with the Cardinals and was despatched to Triple-A Louisville, the place he not too long ago gained Worldwide League Participant of the Week honors, might be a buy-low candidate if St. Louis is keen to eat a few of of his remaining wage (about $13 million together with a buyout of his 2024 choice). An even bigger deal that additionally helps to cowl for the season-ending accidents of catcher Mike Zunino (thoracic outlet syndrome) and heart fielder Kevin Kiermaier (torn hip labrum) may shake further choices unfastened.

White Sox

The Josh Harrison/Leury García tandem at second base didn’t seem prone to work, on condition that the staff ranked twenty seventh in our preseason Positional Energy Rankings, but it surely didn’t undertaking to be this dangerous. Harrison has began 47 occasions on the place and hit a good .238/.311/.372 (97 wRC+) with robust defensive metrics throughout the board, however García, who has began 42 occasions, has hit simply .212/.222/.301 (43 wRC+) with two walks in 163 PA in that capability, which even his average-ish protection can’t cowl up. Garcia hit for a 98 wRC+ with 1.8 WAR in 474 PA final yr, however he’s all the way down to 40 total in 249 PA this yr and a degree 80 wRC+ in opposition to pitchers of every hand since 2020, which for a multipositional switch-hitter doesn’t precisely recommend a lot utility.

Taking part in Harrison extra often, which has basically been the case since mid-June, represents some enchancment. Given the lack of utilityman Danny Mendick, who hit .289/.343/.443 in 106 PA earlier than tearing his ACL [which I missed before this was first published], the White Sox would most likely profit extra from some outdoors assist. The Marlins’ Jon Berti (.271/.365/.375, 118 wRC+) and the Reds’ Brandon Drury (.274/.333/.523, 132 wRC+) and Donovan Solano (.329/.383/.471, 136 wRC+ since debuting on June 22 after a hamstring harm) are all versatile and within the midst of profession years for groups going nowhere; any of them might be helpful additions.

Mariners

The Mariners traded for Adam Frazier in November, however he merely hasn’t performed nicely, hitting .238/.298/.309 (78 wRC+) total in 71 appearances at second, 15 in proper, and 12 in left (although simply 11 mixed begins on the outfield corners). Abraham Toro hasn’t been useful both, hitting .176/.239/.324 (61 wRC+) in 39 video games at second, 17 at third base, and 21 appearances because the DH. A possible outfield surplus may maintain the reply, although the phrase “surplus” admittedly sounds farfetched on condition that supervisor Scott Servais began Frazier, Dylan Moore, and Sam Haggerty — all primarily second basemen, although the final two have seen much more outfield obligation than the keystone this yr — within the outfield on Monday night time. Jesse Winker was out with a proper ankle sprain after colliding with the Astros’ Jeremy Peña on Sunday, and Julio Rodríguez sat for his fourth straight recreation because of left wrist soreness. Servais additionally bypassed Kyle Lewis, who returned from an eight-week absence because of a concussion on Friday in proper discipline however hasn’t performed the outfield since (he’s DHed and pinch-hit).

Anyway, Lewis is within the outfield pool, and each Mitch Haniger (excessive ankle sprain) and Taylor Trammell (hamstring pressure) are prone to return quickly. That frees up Moore, who’s hitting .204/.349/.380 (117 wRC+) and owns a profession 107 wRC+ in opposition to lefties, to play extra second base, at the very least in a platoon capability reverse the lefty-swinging Frazier. If Winker, Rodríguez, Haniger, and Lewis are all accessible, one outfielder may additionally DH, with Carlos Santana taking part in first base and Ty France, who earned All-Star honors at first, sliding over to second base, the place he performed 52 occasions during the last three seasons however has but to take action this yr.

All of which is to say that there are methods the Mariners can piece collectively an improve if the aforementioned outfielders are within the combine, although given common supervisor Jerry Dipoto’s penchant for wheeling and dealing, a commerce can hardly be dominated out, significantly with Frazier and Haniger each pending free brokers.

2022 Substitute-Stage Killers: Shortstops

Staff AVG OBP SLG wRC+ Bat BsR Fld WAR ROS WAR Tot WAR
Phillies .211 .276 .326 69 -13.6 2.3 -3.8 0.2 1.0 1.2
Yankees .254 .302 .314 75 -10.7 1.5 -1.8 0.6 1.0 1.6

Statistics by means of July 25. ROS = Relaxation-of-season WAR, by way of our Depth Charts.

Phillies

The Phillies re-signed Didi Gregorius to a two-year, $28 million deal after a powerful 2020 season, which looms as a major mistake on the a part of membership president Dave Dombrowski. After producing only a 68 wRC+ and -0.9 WAR final yr and lacking time because of a proper elbow impingement, Sir Didi has hit simply .225/.284/.332 (72 wRC+), offered shaky protection (which appears to be a job requirement for this staff), and missed a month because of a knee sprain. Due to a 4-for-50 hunch in July, he’s netted 0.0 WAR.

Rookie Bryson Stott, who entered the season thirty fourth on our Top 100 Prospects list, has performed 32 video games on the place, primarily in Gregorius’ absence, however principally he’s performed second with Jean Segura out because of a proper index finger fracture. At both place, he hasn’t been a lot assist with the bat (.196/.268/.332, 69 wRC+) or the glove, producing 0.1 WAR. Utilityman Johan Camargo, who has performed 32 video games at quick and hit .242/.302/.322 (77 wRC+) total, hasn’t offered the reply both.

With Segura starting a rehab project on Monday and prone to return in early August, the Phillies will most likely give Stott an extended take a look at quick, as his offense has been trending upwards (.234/.312/.426, 106 wRC+ since June 1). Middle discipline could also be a much bigger precedence, on condition that Philadelphia has gotten -0.4 WAR there, the worst amongst contenders. Fortifying the center infield depth appears extra probably than dealing for a starter forward of Gregorius and Stott, significantly as there aren’t any game-changers on dropping golf equipment.

Yankees

With prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza topping their prospect list and rating tenth and thirty ninth, respectively, on this spring’s Prime 100, the Yankees stayed out of the deep finish of the free-agent shortstop market this previous winter, as a substitute buying and selling for Isiah Kiner-Falefa. The 27-year-old ex-Ranger has been respectable defensively (although his 6 DRS is an outlier in comparison with his -.0 UZR and -1 RAA), however his 82 wRC+ (.272/.316/.322) is his lowest mark since 2019.

The percentages appear excessive that the Yankees, who’ve cooled off a bit however are nonetheless taking part in at a 110-win tempo and lead the AL East by 12.5 video games, gained’t do something to enhance the spot. The bullpen and the outfield usually tend to be their focus, on condition that they’ve misplaced Chad Green and now Michael King to season-ending accidents and that they’re nonetheless not getting a lot from Joey Gallo.


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