A Swing For Their Division

Ab Stanley

When the MLB trade deadline comes around every year, you can expect a bunch of movement. Teams jockeying for playoff positions are usually looking for one or two players that can get them over the top. You will see a few moves from time to time that may seem like a stretch but in reality its just what the team needed.

The Milwaukee Brewers just beat out the trade deadline, sending second baseman Jonathan Villar, pitcher Luis Ortiz and infielder Jean Carmona to the Baltimore Orioles for second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

Milwaukee’s main concern was the production (or lack thereof) from their shortstop Orlando Arcia. He has two home runs and 17 runs batted in, while sporting a batting average south of the “Mendoza line”. The Brewers made the trade hoping Schoop can fully return to his 2017 form, when he batted .293, with 32 home runs and 105 RBI last year. He’s only hitting at a .244 clip this season but his power numbers are still pretty good with 17 home runs and 40 runs batted in.

Schoop has hit nine long balls in the month of July, which ties him for second in the majors. His bat is starting to come around at the perfect time for a team in the hunt to go out and grab him. It remains to be seen whether Schoop will play at shortstop at all but adding his bat at second will give the team a big boost in their division race.

The Philadelphia Phillies made a move for their dogfight of a division race in the NL East. The team acquired catcher Wilson Ramos from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a player to be named later. Ramos is currently on the disabled list with a strained hamstring and a time table for his return is not clear at the moment.

Ramos will (hopefully) come back strong and provide a steady bat at the catcher position for Philadelphia. In 78 games this season, Ramos is batting .297 with 14 home runs and 53 runs batted in. Philadelphia’s two current catchers Jorge Alfaro and Andrew Knapp have combined for 13 home runs and 56 runs batted in. The Phillies hold a slim lead in the National League East with the Atlanta Braves breathing down their necks. The Phillies see winning the division as the only way into the playoffs and are banking on Ramos’ all-star type production down the stretch.

Two teams in a tough race and two moves that are probably more of a hope-so than a definitely. Still, you can’t sit and wait for other teams to get better when your trying to win it all.

Ab Stanley

Atlanta, GA

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