FanPost

How to keep and use all our 2Bs

I agree with the general sentiment that at least one of Franklin or Ackley will be moved but I wanted to see if there was some way we could viably keep and use all of Cano, Franklin, Ackley, Bloomquist and I think I came up with one. Caveat up front, it requires going to a 6 man bullpen, so if you don't think this organization would ever be willing to make that move, go ahead and disregard from here, but I think there's a case to be made that either one of Franklin or Ackley could add more value on the field if used appropriately than a 7th RP.

I then make the following assumptions: 1. we will want to give Cano occasional pseudo-rest days at DH, 2. we will sign some corner OF bat that we also want to give some time at DH (I'm going to call this guy Carlos Beltran but could be a lot of guys), 3. we will sign some righty DH/1B type (I'm going to call this guy Mike Napoli but it could be Corey Hart or whoever), 4. we will bring back Guti (or some other righty 4th OF option who can play CF/RF).

That gives us 1 DH (Napoli), 6.5 IF (Smoak, Cano, Miller, Seager, Franklin, Bloomquist, plus half of Ackley), 5.5 OF (Beltran, Saunders, Almonte, Gutierrez, plus half of Ackley), and 2 C (Zunino and some backup), so again we'd be trading the 7th man in the bullpen for the flexibility to keep an extra position player (whichever of Ackley/Franklin we would have otherwise dealt).

Then the four 2B currently on the roster have the following roles: Cano is the primary 2B and occasional DH (mostly against RHP when Napoli is sitting); Franklin fills in at 2B when Cano DHs, is the primary backup at 2B and SS and the primary lefty PH; Ackley is mostly a 4th/5th OF, plays LF when Beltran DHs plus occasionally in CF, and is depth at 2B/1B and PH/PR; Bloomquist is the utility IF, primary backup at 3B, spells Miller and Seager against LHP, and a righty PH option.

Lineups could look like (haven't worked that hard on the orders, so feel free to permute them in your head):

vs R

Miller SS
Seager 3B
Cano DH (or 2B with Napoli DH'ing)
Beltran LF
Smoak 1B
Franklin 2B (or Napoli DH with Cano playing 2B)
Saunders RF
Almonte CF (or Ackley)
Zunino C
vs L

Ackley LF
Beltran DH
Cano 2B
Napoli 1B
Seager 3B (or Bloomquist)
Zunino C
Gutierrez CF
Miller SS (or Bloomquist)
Saunders RF

And by keeping our cheap young guys for the time being, we retain a lot of flexibility for the future (move one of them to full-time 2B if Cano becomes a 1B/DH a few years down the road, put Franklin at SS if someone offers a can't-miss trade for Miller, Ackley's CF defense dramatically improves, etc.).

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