Solid plan guys. I understand keeping Hanley Ramirez may have just been a fit issue with fellow 1B/DH Mitch Moreland absolutely crushing the ball lately (.305 and 10 HRs), but you couldn’t find a way to make it work?
As much as I don’t want to see JD Martinez in the outfield, you know he wants to play the field so rotate him out there and get Hanley at 1B or DH and just wait out his recent cold streak. He was only hitting .259 with 6 dingers, but he was still the Sox No. 3 hitter. The guy can rake like no one else when he gets going so to just dust him because the *Boston Red Sox* are worried about $22 Million next year is insane.
In a hilarious turn of events the move blows up in their faces not even a week later with both Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia going on the DL. So now we’re relying on Brock Holt and Blake Swihart. Oh and the Sox also called up Sam Travis who was hitting a cool .213 in Pawtucket. Forgive me if I’m not jumping at those options over Hanley.
The Sox also signed veteran 1B free agent Adam Lind too, which would have been awesome if it were 2009. He’ll be emergency depth as the Sox have stashed him at Pawtucket while paying him what I can only assume is the veteran minimum. So its peanuts for a guy, who in fairness, did hit .303 in 301 plate appearances for the Nationals last year. I guess if you’re the Sox you’d rather pay a guy $500,000 to hit just above the Mendoza line than risk locking yourself into $22 million next year.
But have the Sox been penny wise and pound foolish? I would expect Mookie to not miss much time, but its impossible to say what will happen with Pedroia. He’s coming off an invasive knee surgery and will soon be 35-years-old. When healthy he’s still very productive and a tough out, but he’s rarely been healthy recently. Pedroia has played in more than 105 games just once in the last 3 seasons so thats not exactly confidence inspiring. Ideally the Sox would have another bat that could play 2B to fill in for Pedroia rather than trying to mishmash Hanley into the lineup around two other guys that play the same position. However, the Sox don’t have that luxury this year as Eduardo Nunez has crashed back to Earth hitting .259 with just 17 extra base hits on the year.
So long story short? Don’t cut guys that can swing the stick for no other reason than to maybe save a few bucks next year. Not if you’re the Boston Red Sox. Unless of course John Henry and co. are stuffing cash under the mattress to go after a guy like Bryce Harper or Manny Machado this offseason. If thats the case then I’ll print this blog out and eat it with a nice lemon zest for flavor.
PS – Its possible the Sox got rid of Hanley because he was just a total cancer in the clubhouse. I don’t know whether thats true or not, but Ken Rosenthal strongly implies that was a big reason. If thats the case, then do what you gotta do.
“Some with the team believe the removal of Ramirez from the clubhouse will create more room for others to assert themselves and become leaders,” Rosenthal said in a video on FOXSports.com. “One player who is a top candidate to assume such a role? J.D. Martinez. Dustin Pedroia is the only other prominent veteran among the team’s position players and he is back on the DL.”