I know this has been talked about in various posts all ready, but i think it deserves it's own thread.
Chad Tracy's career batting line against LHP is .220/.268/.336. With Conor in LF, and Byrnes on the DL, Tracy is going to see a lot more time against LHP than he should. He honestly shouldn't see any playing time against LHP. So the most glaring and obvious need for the team right now is a first basemen or a left fielder that can mash against lefties. I say left fielder, because you can just as easily slide Conor back to first when we're facing lefties. Preferably, you'd find a first basemen, but if it's easier to find a left fielder for the right handed part of the platoon, than the team should just go ahead and do that.
So here's the question: Is there already a suitable platoon mate for Tracy in our farm system?
If not, who's a player on another team that we can acquire via trade?
Down in the minors, Bryan Byrne, and Javier Brito are both right handed first basemen that have done well against lefties. Byrne has a higher average against LHP than RHP, but there's a drop off in power. Javier Brito mashes against LHP, and has put up some nice numbers over the course of his career, but he's struggled in Tucson this year before he was demoted to Mobile. All though he's been playing in the outfield this year, he's spent the majority of his career at first.
I suppose you could also throw in Rusty Ryal and Jamie D'antona in the discussion. D'antona may not be as good as his BABIP fueled numbers suggest, but I do think he'd be an improvement over Tracy against LHP. All though neither are primarily first basemen or left fielders, D'antona can play first, third, and can play catcher in case of some kind of emergency. He could also probably provide average defense in left field and has a reputation of having a great throwing arm. Ryal has never played first, but he has played the outfield, in addition to having playing pimarily second and third during his career. He can also back up shortstop. In addition to providing the right handed half a platoon with Tracy, both could probably do a much better job than Chris Burke has offensively in the role of back up 3b/2b/OFer
There really aren't any other guys in the minors who'd be suitable as a platoon mate for Tracy or are close enough to being ready for the majors. Tucson first basemen Josh Whitesell has a lot of power, but he's also left handed, and all his power comes against RHP. He could be useful in some other role, particularly if there is a need for a leftie with some power.
So now that we know what we have in the upper levels in the minors, we still don't really have an obvious candidate to platoon with Tracy.
So it comes down to acquiring a guy via trade or waivers. In my opinion, finding such a player should be easier than going out and finding an all star caliber LFer. We just need a guy who can provide suitable defense at first base or in left field and that can mash against left handed pitching.
Some of first basemen that hit LHP well, and could be acquired are Sean Casey, Dmitri Young, Aaron Boone, and Kevin Millar. Some outfielders would be Xavier Nady, Jay Payton, Randy Winn, and Emil Brown. If you want to throw some third basemen into the mix: Willy Aybar, Wilson Betemit, Melvin Mora, and Casey Blake could all probably be had. I'm not sure if each of these guys are available. Most are either playing for a team that's out of the race(Millar, Young, Boone, Nady, Payton, Winn, Mora, Blake), or are blocked by a better player(Betemit, Aybar, Casey).
I asked Tim Dierkes of MLBtraderumors.com and he suggested Bill Hall, Mark Loretta, Richie Sexson, Xavier Nady, Jose Bautista, Aaron Boone, Casey Blake, Rich Aurilia, and Kevin Millar are all guys that could be available.
So what are your thoughts? Who do you like for a platoon with Tracy?