The Boston Red Sox acquired veteran slugger Steve Pearce on June 28th from the Toronto Blue Jays along with $1.66M to put towards the money remaining on his $6.25M deal for minor league infielder Santiago Espinal. Pearce was a quiet acquisition by President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski that has paid dividends on and off the field.
In 24 games since joining Boston, Pearce has homered 6 times with 15 RBI’s and is slashing .314/.430/.643 including three home runs in a single game earlier this month when the Sox swept the rival Yankees. Pearce also got the Red Sox on the board on Sunday with a home run capping off a series sweep over the Baltimore Orioles putting Boston at a whopping 50 games over .500 for the first time since 1946 as they currently hold a 85-35 record.
“We have so many good hitters on this team, that I don’t have to do more, try for more. Just staying within myself, swinging at good pitches. We have a good team, I tell everybody what you see on the field we have the same chemistry off the field. We have fun every single day, look forward to coming to the clubhouse, it’s just a good atmosphere to play baseball,” Pearce said following Sunday’s game in an interview with NESN.
Not only does Pearce bring the prowess at the plate or the veteran leadership in the room, but his versatility allows manager Alex Cora to be flexible with the lineup from game-to-game. Pearce crushes left-handed pitching, so naturally he can spell left-handed hitting Mitch Moreland at first base who struggles against southpaws at times, but his ability to also play the corner outfield spots allows Cora the ability to rotate the Killer B’s keeping them fresh and playing the matchups. On Sunday he served as the designated hitter while reigning AL Player of the Week J.D. Martinez got some time in the outfield as he continues to put up MVP numbers on the campaign.
Steve Pearce, Nathan Eovaldi and Ian Kinsler. Three pre-deadline day moves that will pay off for the best team in baseball through the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs. The Pearce move was probably the least publicized one, that has so far yielded the greatest results. Eovaldi had two great starts to begin his Boston career before being lit-up by the O’s last time out. He will be fine and much needed rotation depth while Kinsler is currently on the DL with a hamstring injury, but should be back and playing second base every night real soon.
The Red Sox kick off a quick two game series with the Phillies tonight before heading back home to face the Rays. Steve Pearce has made a significant impact so far, and will keep giving his manager confidence to pencil him into the lineup as often as he can.
Follow Frank Pimentel on Twitter: @FrankBostonTank