With a wheel and a deal, outfielder Jordan Hinshaw went from the coldest team in the Atlantic League to the hottest. Last weekend, Hinshaw was playing out the string with the hapless New Britain Bees, the team with the worst overall record in the Atlantic League. By Tuesday night, he was suiting up for the Ducks, the club with the best record in the second half, entering play Saturday.
The product of a Tuesday trade between the two polar opposite franchises, the Bees received future considerations in exchange for one of the Atlantic League’s hottest hitters.
“It’s a very exciting trade to be a part of,” Hinshaw, 27, who hit .328 with one home run and 18 RBIs in 60 games with New Britain, said. “I was coming from an organization that was having a tough go, but was fighting for some wins to an organization that is expecting to win and ready to win every night.”
Hinshaw gives the Ducks speed on the basepaths and a solid glove in the outfield, something they were suddenly in need of after Quintin Berry’s contract was purchased by the Milwaukee Brewers and Patchogue-native Anthony Vega left the team to complete his computer engineering degree at the University of Arizona.
“The kid can flat-out run,” Ducks manager Kevin Baez said of Hinshaw, who stole 12 bases in 15 tries for New Britain. “Him and [Delta] Cleary Jr. give us that dynamic we need up in the lineup.”
The Ducks led the second half championship chase by six games with a little more than three weeks to play, entering play Saturday. With a playoff berth seemingly a strong possibility, the Ducks needed to make a move to fill the holes left by Berry and Vega.
The Bees, despite their status as basement dwellers, had not moved Hinshaw into a consistent starting role. So, the opportunity to make Hinshaw an everyday piece in Central Islip just made sense. Although the sample size is small, it seems as if Hinshaw hasn’t missed a beat since joining the Ducks. He hit .357 in his first four games (14 at-bats).
“It seemed like he was going to have a better opportunity here on Long Island than he was going to have in New Britain,” Ducks president and general manager Michael Pfaff said. “I think New Britain was full, roster wise. It seemed like a good fit and we’re happy to have him on the team.”
The Ducks still don’t know if they will have their preferred closer, former Major Leaguer David Aardsma available for a potential playoff series, but are at least closer to finding out. Aardsma, who hasn’t pitched since July 31, has been suffering from AC joint inflammation in his shoulder.
The former Mariners closer is throwing multiple times per week to assess how the joint reacts before the Ducks will greenlight him to throw in any games, Pfaff said.
Aardsma has nine saves in 23 appearances. He’s struck out 31 batters in 22 1⁄3 innings.
“We’re hopeful that, in the next week to 10 days, we’ll have a better indication of whether or not he is going to be able to help us for the playoff run,” Pfaff said Thursday.
Next Up: At New Britain, 1:35 p.m., Sunday.