The Boston Red Sox have a slugger who has gone sluggish in Steve Pearce. Pearce has traveled extensively in his MLB career and may again be on the move.
Occasionally the unexpected happens and since this is about baseball, I will apply that to Boston Red Sox first baseman, Steve Pearce.
Pearce chose one particular point in his career, or maybe the baseball gods did and that happened in the brightest of spotlights, the World Series. Pearce batted .333, slammed three home runs, and finished with eight RBI. An effort that was recognized – rightfully so – with the World Series MVP Award.
Pearce has been with seven teams in his major league career that has spanned 13 years. Pearce has never been touted as a “regular” since his offense has been spotty and inconsistent with a .253 career average and never accumulating more than 383 plate appearances.
The item of interest is the now 36-year-old right-handed Pearce is considered death to lefties and a pussy cat to righties. A head-scratching summarization when Pearce is a career .247 against righties and .262 against lefties. And power? Pearce has 49 home runs against righties to 41 against lefties. Certainly far from an automatic out.
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The perfect spot for Pearce was and always had been to place him in a position best suited to disguise weakness and enhance the positive. The Red Sox accomplished that with the combination of left-handed hitting Mitch Moreland and Pearce. This season, Pearce has sputtered and is giving Jackie Bradley Jr. a run for player incompetence in hitting. And Moreland has been on a power binge to keep his spot secure. Now, what do you do?
The veteran status and $6.250 million salary provides a somewhat insular shield for Pearce, but if a buyer was found to assume the contractual obligation, Pearce could be gone. In baseball, heroics have a short memory. The roster crunch may soon arise, especially if Dustin Pedroia is fit for duty and is reasonably capable of fulfilling the duties at second base.
Michael Chavis isn’t going anywhere and if he is sent packing, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski may have to enter witness protection. Chavis can play first and his natural third base is now settled science with Rafael Devers lighting it up. So Pearce could ultimately be extra baggage. Certainly having a productive bat off the bench is enticing, but the way Pearce is sloshing along hitting without his bat may be more productive.
Being dismissed is no startling new adventure for Pearce in that has been a career path and actually how he arrived in Boston last season. Good luck in remembering who the Red Sox sent to the woeful Blue Jays for Pearce. This season Pearce could well be on the move once again since his production is nil and youth awaits in the wings.