Today, I will focus on the position players. Once again I will only focus on those teams that have a chance at the post-season. The Twins, Yankees, Rays, Red sox, White Sox, Tigers, Rangers, and Angels.
#1 New York Yankees:
The Yankees are hitting .273/.356/.443. They have stolen 59 bases and been caught 19 times. They have only grounded into 68 double plays. They strikeout 18.9% of plate appearances and have a 37.4% fly ball rate. They have scored a league leading 556 runs. Their overall defense has a .8 UZR/150 and has saved about 5.8 runs.
#2 Tampa Bay Rays:
The Rays are hitting .255/.339/.406. They have stolen 129 bases and been caught 32 times. They have only grounded into 60 double plays. They strikeout a whopping 23.1 K%. They have a 38.6% fly-ball rate. They have scored 516 runs. Their overall defense has been outstanding. They have an 8.5 UZR/150, which has saved about 32.9 runs.
#3 Boston Red Sox:
The Red Sox are hitting .271/.345/.460, which leads the AL in OPS. They have only stolen 33 bases and been caught 11 times. They have grounded into 86 double plays. They strikeout 20.7% and have a 42.1% fly-ball rate. They have scored 532 runs. Their overall defense has a 2.6 UZR/150, saving about 12.1 runs.
#4 Texas Rangers:
The Rangers are hitting .278/.343/.426. They have stolen 81 bases and been caught 35 times. They have grounded in 77 double plays. They strikeout 18.5% and have a very high 45.1% fly-ball rate. They have scored 514 runs. They have a 5.4 UZR/150, which has saved about 22.1 runs.
#5 Minnesota Twins:
The Twins are hitting .283/.353/.434. They have stolen 41 bases and been caught 17 times. They have grounded into a whopping 114 double plays. This is probably due to their high OBP, low strikeout rate of 16.9% and their low 34.9% fly-ball rate. They have scored 505 runs. They have a 5.1 UZR/150, which has saved about 22.7 runs.
#6 Chicago White Sox:
The White Sox are hitting .261/.328/.421. They have stolen 96 bases but have been caught 47 times. They have grounded into 93 double plays. They strikeout only 15.5% and have a 38.1% fly-ball rate. They have scored 467 runs. They have a -4.4 UZR/150, which has costed the team about -16.4 runs.
#7 Detroit Tigers:
The Tigers are hitting .270/.339/.414. They have stolen 42 bases and been caught 17 times. They have grounded into 86 double plays. They strikeout 20% and have a 37.2% fly-ball rate. They have scored 443 runs. They have a 1.1 UZR/150, which has saved the team about 6.8 runs.
#8 California Angels:
The Angels are hitting .255/.318/.401. They have stolen 67 bases and been caught 36 times. They have grounded into 79 double plays. They strikeout 19.5% and have a 36.7% fly-ball rate. They have scored 467 runs. They have a -6.4 UZR/150, which has costed the team about -27.5 runs.
So, what does this all mean? Well, when combined with the starters and relievers numbers, I don't see the Tigers or the Angels having a shot at the playoffs. I have been hearing the Angels may indeed become sellers by tomorrow. What does this mean for the Twins? Their day-to-day lineup has only been ok this year after a lot was expected of them. They have dealt with injuries to Hardy and Hudson as well as their best starter, Justin Morneau. Other teams have dealt with injuries as well, but have been able to score runs. What would I suggest the Twins do for their offense at the deadline? Probably nothing. The offense has been clicking lately. A right handed bench bat like Ty Wiggington could help the Twins but, his .768 OPS is actually below the team average and couple that with his bad defense, he really is not much help.
Instead of a trade, I'd make minor changes. All the changes with the assumption, the Justin Morneau comes back to the team soon.
1). I'd play Danny Valencia every day. His bat is far superior to Nick Punto and his defense, while not as strong, has been very good so far. With superior defenders at SS, 2b, and 1b, having slightly less defense at 3rd is not a problem. Note: Punto is probably due to go to the DL today.
2). Play Jason Repko more. He has proved that he can hit a little the last few days. Using Repko as a defender will save runs in the outfield for the fly-ball pitchers. Repko should start in RF/CF vs. lefties. He can start occasionally in CF vs. a lefty to give left-handed hitter Span a breather. Span does a little bit better vs. right-handed pitchers. If Repko is not starting in CF vs. lefties, he should start in RF. With Repko in right, Cuddyer can shift to DH and the Twins can keep Thome and Kubel on the bench, for late game pinch hitting. Repko's speed could also help the Twins on the base paths. He has stolen 24 bases in a full season at AAA. The 2010 Twins have not run like Twins teams in the past.
3). Sit Michael Cuddyer often vs right-handed pitchers. Keeping Cuddyer's .713 OPS on the bench, in favor of Kubel (.814) and Thome, (1.036) will improve the lineup and will give the Twins a late inning right-handed bat. A bat that they sorely have needed vs tough lefties. I know this is a move the staff will not make, but it could improve the runs scored.
Delmon Young has already been moved up in the lineup as I asked for previously. Making the three moves above will help the team score more runs and prevent more runs from being scored. Having Morneau and Hudson returning to full health will help the team as well.