Three under-the-radar suggestions for the LF/3B void. None are ideal, as Plan B’s are wont to be.
Jed Lowrie: It’s hard to get a read on the former Red Sox prospect, who has struggled with injuries throughout his career. But when healthy he’s shown flashes of becoming a solid major leaguer with developing power.
The switch-hitter clubbed a career-best 16 homers last season in 97 games (another career-high) with Houston, getting on base at a decent .331 clip. Lowrie will be 28 on Opening Day and is two years removed from free agency. He was awful against southpaws last year but has a .848 OPS vs. lefties for his career. At worst he could platoon with Francisco, making for a high-risk but potentially high-reward platoon.
Eric Young Jr.: He, too, has battled injuries but showed signs of becoming a top-of-the-order threat in 2012, batting .316 with a .377 OBP and 14 steals in 98 games. Forget about his Rockies teammate, Dexter Fowler; Colorado asked for Minor and Delgado in return.
David DeJesus: Unlike Lowrie and Young you know what you’re getting with DeJesus. Last year he hit .263 with a .350 OBP, 28 doubles, 8 triples and 9 HR, a shade below his career averages. DeJesus, 33, is the player we thought Melky Cabrera was when he came to Atlanta. The comparisons end there.
He’s due only $4.25 million next year with an affordable team option for 2014. He certainly qualifies as one of those “Caliparis” FW recently mentioned.