Boston Red Sox: Why Ian Kinsler is a solid Dustin Pedroia replacement

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 02: Ian Kinsler #3 of the Los Angeles Angels throws out Craig Gentry #14 of the Baltimore Orioles during the third inning at Angel Stadium on May 2, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 02: Ian Kinsler #3 of the Los Angeles Angels throws out Craig Gentry #14 of the Baltimore Orioles during the third inning at Angel Stadium on May 2, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

In need of a reliable fill-in for Dustin Pedroia, the Boston Red Sox acquire veteran infielder Ian Kinsler in exchange for low minor league talent.

Well it’s been officially confirmed. Just shortly after a thirteen inning walk-off victory over to open the home series against Philadelphia, the Boston Red Sox will not stand as the MLB trade deadline winds down.

Now, obviously this isn’t a major move, however let’s be honest and face reality. This isn’t Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics we’re talking about here. Assets aren’t necessarily on Dave Dombrowski’s side to say the least. Nonetheless, this remains a void filling move on Boston’s end.

Ian Kinsler comes to Boston in exchange for minor league pitchers Ty Buttery (right-handed) and Williams Jerez (left-handed). The Red Sox will also have to pay Kinsler’s $1.8 million remaining on his $3.6 million contract from Los Angeles.

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Now as far as the Angels are concerned, per usual they’re out.

With the Oakland Athletics, Houston Astros, and Seattle Mariners all making bullpen moves prior to the deadline, the American League West is in. The race will certainly be one to watch, just not to Los Angeles’ favor.

The Angels sit in fourth place and 12.5 games from Houston. Just a game above the .500 mark , so it’s a pretty safe bet we won’t be seeing Mike Trout in the postseason… again.

Now, for the Boston Red Sox. Typically, this position is one hundred percent reserved for un-named team captain Dustin Pedroia.

Filling a void

However, Pedroia’s ongoing trend of health complications is yet to show any bright light. Pedroia has only played in three games this season. The last time Boston saw Pedroia on the field was back on May 29 against Toronto. To say this move fills a void would be an understatement.

Kinsler on the other hand, has been fairly reliable all season long for the Angels. Kinsler is batting .239 with 13 home runs and 32 runs batted in thus far. This coming in 91 games played. Not to mention the fact that the month of July has been very friendly to Kinsler. He’s hitting .320 with 2 home runs and 10 runs batted in; 21 games in July.

Now Boston does have utility man Eduardo Nunez, however we saw tonight how better he is defensively at third base. Another position that will need to be filled in until Alex Cora gets Rafael Devers back from the disabled list. Plus, the power gap between Ian Kinsler and Brock Holt is a significant improvement.

Reliability is key and perhaps the premier motive for this move. It’s unfortunate to face the reality before us as Boston Red Sox fans. Our very own heart and soul, Dustin Pedroia is facing a steep and quick downhill decline. The stability just hasn’t been there in recent years most notably. Pedroia also hasn’t been much of a threat in the postseason either. Having not driven in a run since the 2013 playoffs and a home run since 2008, Pedroia’s  lack of production appears to be an indication that he is on his way out of the game.

At the age of 36, Ian Kinsler is also aging. However, when you compare the past four season stats between Kinsler and 34-year old Pedroia, there’s a major difference.

Through the 2015-18 seasons, Kinsler has played in an average of 134 games while batting .269/.330/.436 within those four seasons. That also includes 60 runs batted in and 18 home runs on average.

Dustin Pedroia?

Well in the past four seasons it’s been an 89 game average with a .302/.367/.428 bat at the plate. That’s 8 homers and 44 runs batted in on average. Granted injuries have held Pedroia back, however the trend has been extremely on-going. That’s a four year span with only one +110 game played season (2016, 154). Kinsler has given Detroit three in that span and is on track for a fourth; and he’s two years older than Pedroia.

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Hopefully Ian Kinsler can fill Boston’s infield void. As for the trade deadline, we’ll have to wait and see if this is it for Dombrowski and the Boston Red Sox.