Boston Red Sox hybrid 1st baseman / designated hitter Hanley Ramirez hasn’t been hitting the ball all that well – are we missing something?
There was no question that in 2015, when Hanley Ramirez came to Boston that he was going to be well loved and well-respected. He was a former Sox before getting traded for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. Everyone remembers how well that turned out. In his second stint for the Sox, he destroyed the month of April in his first year before fizzling out and not being around for much after the All Star Game.
Last season we finally saw what a $22 million annual salary should do. We’ll probably never see that again. When Ramirez came back to Boston, he knew that he’d eventually be a 1st baseman. He originally tried playing in the outfield and that bombed, he didn’t want to do it so he didn’t try and was reverted back to playing in the infield where he found a lot more success. He has no speed so playing shortstop is out and playing 3rd base while interesting is not happening anytime soon.
Han Ram wants to be the DH and that’s it. When he’s not just the DH, he’s not happy and it’s obvious. He’s also very injury prone and that’s not good, nor is it productive if he’s supposed to be the replacement for the future Hall of Famer David Ortiz. I don’t know how he thought that he was going to replace Big Papi, but somehow, he had it in his head that he was going to be that guy.
That’s some awfully large shoes to fill. People are not going to pitch the same way to Hanley as they did to Papi, it’s just not going to happen. Papi was an absolute terror at the plate, Ramirez, just doesn’t seem like he’s 100% at times. Ramirez last season had a .286/30/111 slash with .361/.505/.866 OBP/SLG/OPS line. This season he’s hitting .239/9/26 with a .341/.394/.736 OBP/SLG/OPS line. He’s just not doing it.
He’s projected to get maybe 20 home runs and potentially 59 runs knocked in. That’s a little bit more than than half of last season. He clearly doesn’t have the protection from last season and when the team slumps, it slumps hardcore, no one gets on base and you see players doggin’ it to first base on ground balls.
Personally, when I see Hanley sitting there smiling with opposing players, laughing and joking, I’d be all for it if he played the game hard 100% of the time which is not the case right now. That’s not happening and since he can’t seem to stay healthy, we’re left wondering if signing him in 2015 was such a good idea.
We’re still on the hook for another $22 million next season. 2019 remains a big question mark as he needs to get 1,050 plate appearances combined this season and next season. If he can’t stay healthy, it’s a plateau he might not reach. John Farrell has stated that his shoulder is bothering him right now which is why he’s not going to be in the line up. The day off today will hopefully help that situation.
Over Hanley’s last 10 games, he’s hitting just .194 with only 7 hits in his last 36 at bats and only one hit is an extra base hit. One home run, two RBI’s and just three runs scored. That’s Pablo Sandoval territory right there. Why isn’t he getting demoted? $22 million a year is hard to put on the bench. Also, the power threat is there, when it’s there. He’s also striking out in almost 20% of those at bats. Something’s gotta give.
With the day off as mentioned before, this gives him the much needed extra day to rest and recover. Hopefully then he can come back ready and willing to smoke a couple line drives over the fence. Hanley and the Sox begin a seven game home stand starting Friday night with the Angels up first for three games followed by the Twins for the next four.
Photo Credit – Michael Dwyer – AP Photo