While not halfway through the season using mathematical criteria, the All-Star break is the traditional midpoint: a respite from the day-to-day grind that provides an opportunity to look back and make some changes.
For each of the 30 teams, I'm proposing one change, whether to the lineup or the staff or something that needs to be accomplished with deliberate speed. And since my nearly four decades of existence has led me to believe that people are not overly thrilled with backseat drivers, assume that all these moves are enforced by the threat of some kind of Doomsday Laser.
(Editor: Dan, please check your email, re: Use of Doomsday Laser.)
I've just been told that I might not use a Doomsday Laser or the threat of creating a new era of humanity from my undersea fortress, so you'll have to use your imagination.
Also, we're going to list teams from worst to first, according to our current MLB Power Rankings, so that we get less depressing as we go down the page.
At this point, it's a waste of time to just leave Rhys Hoskins in the minors, crushing Triple-A pitchers when he should get accustomed to trying to terrorize the MLB ones. Yes, the team already has a first baseman and Hoskins is unlikely to be a good outfielder, but the point isn't winning games now, it's about learning things about the future. It's good the team pulled the plug on Michael Saunders, but the Phillies are still acting more like a team that's further ahead in the rebuilding process than it is.
29. San Diego Padres
The Padres have done a lot of good things during their rebuild and in challenging their best prospects in the majors without putting them in and out of the lineup/rotation, with Dinelson Lamet being the best example. However, even before Allen Córdoba's hand injury, the team was still not fully committed to trying Córdoba at shortstop full-time. Yes, Erick Aybar is the better shortstop right now, but the wins are meaningless for the Padres, and finding out what Córdoba and Carlos Asuaje can do is more important than maximizing their 2017 record.
A team comeback isn't coming in 2017 and a Matt Cain comeback (to his 2012 form) is increasingly looking as if it's never going to happen. A Madison Bumgarner return probably kicks Cain out of the rotation, but with a Johnny Cueto trade possible, the Giants should take a look at Andrew Suarez, rather than possibly giving Cain his job back. Tyler Beede might have the higher ceiling, but Suarez is the better pitcher right now, and spacious AT&T Park in a lost season might be a better home than the Pacific Coast League for a pitcher with solid but not overwhelming stuff.