Well, we’ve come to that time of the year where Big League teams are deciding if they want to make a run at a division title or if they are looking toward next season. The July 31st trade deadline is coming up and you can bet trade talks are rampant behind closed doors! Its a tough decision owners and GM’s have to make because it can end up being very costly if the moves they make don’t work out. But making a run at a playoff berth and a chance at a World Series is not something teams take for granted, and if the opportunity is there most teams will do whatever it takes to earn a spot.
Our big club is only 4 games out of first place as of today and will no doubt look to make a run at the playoffs. They have had solid starting pitching and a consistent offense that has kept them in the hunt the entire season. Now is when our front office will get together with the coaching staff and decide what they feel they need to add in order to stay on top at the end of September. It might be a front line arm in the rotation, or a big bat in the middle of the lineup. Whatever it is, you can bet the phone lines are lighting up with potential trade opportunities to see if something fits.
At the same time, teams will look at what they have in their farm system and decide who they want to bring up in September to help them as well. We have a lot great players here in New Orleans with Major League experience that can be a inexpensive addition at any time, or at the very least when rosters expand in September. Our starting rotation right now consists of Rick Vandenhurk, Clay Hensley, John Koronka, Willio Collazo and Hayden Penn. All of them have major league experience and could be options to help out the major league pitching staff. Our organization has also gone out and signed some veteran arms as well. We added Luis Ayala a few days ago, and rumor is that Scott Williamson might be coming here as well. As for our offense, we’ve had pretty consistent production from just about everybody on the club. Cameron Maybin has been playing very well as of late, and will no doubt be in Florida in the coming weeks for his defense at the very least and Mike Ryan, our only All-Star has been solid all year and could provide some left handed depth off the bench.
In our situation with the club looking toward the playoffs, it all boils down to what is needed to help the club win. Its rare that a winning team calls up a guy from AAA as a reward for a good season, even though as a player you’d like to see it happen more often. But you can understand the team not wanting to clutter up a clubhouse with guys that are basically just going to take up space during an important stretch of the season.
Alot of decisions to be made in the coming weeks, and it will no doubt be exciting push as the season comes to and end and the playoffs begin.