Due to the recent departure of Mark Kotsay and the unpredictability of Rocco Baldelli, the Red Sox are in need of a fourth outfielder for the stretch run — preferably a right-handed stick with a reliable mitt.
The current outfield roster features two left-handed hitters (Jacoby Ellsbury and J.D. Drew) and one right-hander in Jason Bay. Prior to being waived, Kotsay had played nine games in the outfield this season. Remaining outfielders on the Sox roster are Chris Duncan and Chris Carter — both of which are left-handed hitters.
Michael Silverman of the Herald has a few names in mind:
A fourth outfielder, preferably a right-handed hitting one with above-average defensive skills, is also on the team?s wish list. Willie Bloomquist (Kansas City Royals) and Cody Ross (Florida Marlins) fit the category, although Ross likely would not be moved with his team in contention in the NL East. Ryan Spilborghs (Colorado Rockies) has drawn interest from the Red Sox in the past.
Bloomquist has a .984 fielding percentage in 46 games in the Royals outfield this season. The eight-year veteran can also play throughout the diamond, playing at least 34 games in every position except pitcher and catcher so far in his career. This season alone, he has appeared at shortstop (35 games), right field (31 games), center field (14 games), second base (six games), left field (five games), first base (three games) and third base (three games). He's hitting .268 with 31 runs and is tied for a league-most seven triples in 78 games this season.
Landing Ross is a longshot, but the Marlins' center fielder would be a welcome addition to any club. The 27-year-old has 14 homers and 53 RBIs to go with 48 runs scored in 95 games. Ross also owns a .988 fielding percentage in 67 starts in center for Florida.
Spilborghs could be the best hitter of the three, sporting a .298 career average in five seasons with the Rockies. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder is slumping this season, posting just a .252 BA with 37 runs in 82 games. One stat that sticks out with the 28-year-old California native is that Spilborghs has a lifetime .311 batting average against left-handed pitching, which could help the Sox, who are hitting just .277 as a team against southpaws. That mark puts them third in the AL East behind the Yankees (.293) and Blue Jays (.279).