How far have the Boston Red Sox fallen? Ken Rosenthal reports that they’re scouting Scott Podesdnik. With Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford out for a significant amount of time, the Red Sox outfield depth has been tested. Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross have done a fantastic job in the short term, but the other outfield spot has been a black hole. Ellsbury struggled in the 7 games he played, and the other outfield options have struggled to post anything close to a 300 on base percentage.
Podsednik wouldn’t cost the Red Sox a significant prospect, and as a short term option he’d be a better fit then Jason Repko or Darnell McDonald. He wouldn’t be capable of playing in center field, but Cody Ross could slide over to center allowing Podsednik to play in left. In 2010 split between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Kansas City Royals Podsednik hit 297/342/382, and stole 35 bases in 50 attempts.
Podsednik started of the 2011 season in the minors, but missed most of the season due to injuries. The fact that the Red Sox would even scout Podsednik, much less consider him an option is a sign of how desperate the Sox are. While the Red Sox lineup is 4th in the AL in runs scored, they can’t afford to keep throwing away at bats in the outfield. Ross and Sweeney won’t keep hitting like this forever, and if they can’t add some quality bats soon they’ll have a tough time making the playoffs.
Trading for Scott Podsednik has no downside, as the Red Sox current 3rd outfielder has been less effective then having a pitcher swing the bat. Still, the sooner the Sox can find a legitimate upgrade, the better. Obviously they’re not going to get a quality veteran given that Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford should be back in the next month or two, but one would think there has to be a better option available then an OF who hasn’t played in the majors since 2010.