Three Diamondbacks who may earn evaluative opportunities with Peralta now in Tampa.
The Diamondbacks traded David Peralta to the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday, saying goodbye to their longest tenured player and their left fielder. The move not only frees up a spot in the lineup, but also a spot on the 40-man roster.
These three players stand to benefit the most due to the trade.
The 25-year-old outfielder will have the chance to get everyday at-bats with the team. After a pair of stints with the big league club earlier in the year, McCarthy now will be able to finish the season in an everyday role. I wrote last week that the D-backs need to evaluate him as a potential everyday player down the stretch so they can make a more informed decision on which outfielders to keep and who to trade away to fill other holes on the roster.
McCarthy has hit .333/.381/.487 in 38 plate appearances with Arizona since being called up on July 11th. In that time, he has six strikeouts and three walks. As mentioned in the linked article, McCarthy will need to significantly reduce his strikeouts in order to maximize his tools on the offensive side of the ball. If there is enough of a hit tool for him to be an above-average hitter in the big leagues, I see him being equally as valuable as Alek Thomas and Daulton Varsho moving forward.
With McCarthy freed up to play an everyday outfielder role, the D-backs could also look to add Seth Beer to the lineup down the stretch. While Walker is entrenched as the D-backs everyday first baseman, Beer is likely limited to designated hitter duties against right handed starters. In his first audition with the D-backs, Beer got off to a hot start with a .438/.486/.625 slash in his first 35 plate appearances. In the next 58 PA, he struggled to a .061/.190/.061 slash as pitchers found holes in his swing with Beer showing no ability to adjust. That earned him a trip to Reno, where he’s been playing since.
While I’m skeptical that he’ll hit enough in the big leagues to stick, I still think it’s important he gets to showcase what he can do up here. Should Beer be able to hit enough in the big leagues to be at least a platoon bat at the DH and get starts at first when Walker is out of the lineup. That would be enough to give him 400-450 PA on a yearly basis.
Kennedy has not seen much action since the All-Star break after getting everyday at-bats when Ketel Marte was dealing with a hamstring issue. With Marte back at the keystone, Kennedy has been on the shelf with very sporadic appearances. A right-handed bat who’s already responded well against left-handed pitching in his short stint in the big leagues, he figures to be the other half of the DH platoon with Beer at worst.
Very pronounced left/right splits for Buddy Kennedy so far:
vs. LHP: .297/.350/.486
vs. RHP: .194/.262/.250#Dbacks
— Jesse Friedman (@JesseNFriedman) July 30, 2022
Defensively he shows some promise at the keystone and improved range to be a right-handed hitting utility infielder on the right side of the infield. He came up as a third baseman in the minors, but I’ve yet to see him get opportunities to show what he can do defensively. Kennedy is blocked at 2B, but could see opportunities for at-bats from the DH spot and give Marte some days off on the infield.