Given that Enrique Hernandez is on his way back and shouldn’t need much longer on the Injured List, Downs’ first stint in the big leagues is likely to be brief.
Downs, the Sox’s No. 5 prospect, had a tough night at the plate in his debut, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and a flyout, but he did make a few good plays out at third base.
Downs was one of the pieces that came over to the Red Sox from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Mookie Betts trade.
However, former Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks has a theory as to why Downs is on the big-league club right now, tweeting his thoughts on the situation.
In my opinion… Jeter Downs is being called up so potential trade partners can see if he’s able to compete at the big league level.
— Will Middlebrooks (@middlebrooks) June 20, 2022
Could Downs Be Trade Bait?
This is very possible.
Their bullpen is struggling a bit too, as evidenced by the St. Louis Cardinals making things interesting in the ninth inning twice over the weekend.
Downs would be a good piece to dangle in order to bring back some pitching, so Middlebrooks isn’t exactly off the mark here.
The 2013 World Series champion knows what it’s like to be a young player on a team that may be looking for other things at the trade deadline.
While Downs is a key piece for the Red Sox and their future, nobody should be surprised if Middlebrooks’ theory is ultimately proven correct.
We’ll see what Downs can do at the big-league level and if teams are ultimately interested in him at the trade deadline.