The Boston Red Sox search for infield insurance has led them to a four-time All-Star and postseason veteran. Late Monday night, the Red Sox acquired Ian Kinsler from the Los Angeles Angels in a trade that will help fill the void left by injured second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
New teammate! 👍
Welcome to Boston, Ian Kinsler! pic.twitter.com/f6goxvlMvU
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) July 31, 2018
What does Ian Kinsler bring to the Red Sox?
The Red Sox had to value Kinsler’s experience. The 36-year-old is in his 13th MLB season. He’s played for the Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels, amassing 1,911 hits and 287 home runs. He’s a four-time All-Star and a 2016 Gold Glove winner. He’s also appeared in four postseasons, including back-to-back World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011 with the Rangers. He’s been a strong performer in the postseason too, hitting .291/.400/.444 over 37 games.
Though he’s struggled overall this season, hitting just .239/.304/.406 over 91 games, he has surged in July hitting .417/.491/.646 over his 13 games. Despite the dip in average over the last two seasons, Kinsler still has respectable power with a combined 35 home runs during that period. By comparison, Pedroia had just 30 dating back to 2015.
When you factor in Kinsler’s excellent defense, he feels like an ideal stopgap option for a contender with an infield opening, particularly at second base. That describes the Red Sox current situation perfectly.
What is Dustin Pedroia’s status?
Pedroia returned from offseason knee surgery in late May but only lasted three games before going back on the disabled list with renewed soreness in the same week. The 34-year-old former MVP reportedly began rehabbing with his personal trainer three weeks ago, but didn’t sound optimistic about a return this season. Pedroia was quoted saying, “You can’t risk it. If I come back too early and the graft fails, then that’s it.”
The Red Sox had remained hopeful Pedroia could return, but the trade confirms they’re also being realistic. Boston also lost third baseman Rafael Devers to the disabled list this weekend with a hamstring strain. That injury further depleted their infield depth. Once Kinsler arrives, he should be Boston’s every day second baseman, allowing Brock Holt and Eduardo Nunez to fill in at third base.
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