Red Sox Hanley Ramirez Injures Foot, Who’s Next?


The Boston Red Sox had to watch their hot hitter Hanley Ramirez come out of the game, last night, against the Baltimore Orioles, after fouling a ball off of his foot. Is everyone holding their breath yet?

Xander Bogaerts came in to pinch run for Ramirez in the ninth inning, after still hitting a single. Bogaerts also took over as shortstop defensively, with spark plug Brock Holt moving to left field to finish the game, which they won.

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When fans see one of their best players, especially one who costs $88 million for four years, go down with an injury, is anyone in the mood for celebrating a win? Tack that onto the fact that Ramirez has a laundry list of previous injuries and you have some pretty nervous Fenway faithful walking around.

Scott Polacek of Bleacher Report believes that “while Ramirez is still settling in on defense as an outfielder, Boston needs him in the lineup if it hopes to compete for an American League East crown.” This season, so far, Han-Ram has hit 6 home runs, including grand-slam success, and 13 RBIs, while only striking out 8 times in 62 at-bats. One of those home runs even came last night, helping the Red Sox to victory in another close game. He’s hitting incredibly well on the road (.333), which is not always the case for players, wishing for the home crowd to help them summon a hit. If they wish to compete in the post-season, Ramirez looks to be a big factor in getting the team there.

Yet, he can’t make any kind of impact on baseballs or opposing pitchers’ nightmares if he’s out, injured.

With another outfielder prone to injury, Shane Victorino, injured with a sore hamstring, any time that Ramirez spends out of the lineup would cost the Red Sox two of their veterans from their lineup, as well as two gaps, defensively. Young stud Mookie Betts would be the only starter from Opening Day remaining in the outfield.

Instead of some of the criticism that Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has taken for having a log jam of players in the outfield, maybe this moment is when we praise him for having such depth out there. Between Holt, Daniel Nava, Allen Craig, and minor leaguers Rusney Castillo and Jackie Bradley Jr. at their disposal, Boston has more than enough talented players to fill in for the injured. Holt and the lefty bat of Nava seem to be the most likely fits, while Castillo and Bradley continue to develop in Triple-A, and Craig’s skill set still seems to be standing in limbo.

Nava would be the outfielder with the most experience (five years) of the three men, if that is how the dominoes fall. That outfield would be fairly young and inexperienced, possibly not ready for the summer grind without a more veteran presence to lead them. Holt has been playing out of his mind, lately, hitting .424 with a home run and 8 RBIs in 10 games, something the Red Sox were not necessarily expecting. Yet, how long will that last? Maybe the whole season; maybe tomorrow. Nobody knows for sure, considering the small sample size, while having Ramirez’s track record of high-powered offense is more reliable as proof of his recent success.

Unquestionably, the Red Sox are better with their team’s RBI leader in the lineup. Ramirez’s name strikes fear in the hearts of pitchers on the mound, waiting for him to step into the batter’s box in the middle of the lineup. Not having him in the lineup means that pitchers can throw differently to his replacement and the batters around him, knowing that the bigger threat is sitting on the bench in the dugout. The faster that Ramirez returns completely healthy, without risk of re-injury, the faster that Red Sox Nation will feel better.

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