Red Sox Hanley Ramirez Found Force Strong With The Wall


One thing that we found out last night is that walls are hard. So hard that they can withstand a ramming from Han-Ram, himself.

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Hanley Ramirez, while fielding a ball against the Tampa Bay Rays, met Fenway Park’s bleacher wall out in the left field foul area. That meeting was a reminder of that old proverb, dealing with an unstoppable force and an immovable object. In this case, the force was stopped suddenly by the object, holding his shoulder in pain of the impact. Ramirez, after the play, had to be removed from the game, after only the first inning.

Ricky Doyle of NESN reported that “Red Sox manager John Farrell said immediately after Monday’s game that Ramirez is “day to day” with a left shoulder sprain. The club expects to learn more about the outfielder’s status in the coming days.” Considering his laundry-list history with injuries, Red Sox Nation will hold its collective breath, each day, until his return.

Ramirez, clearly understanding the Fenway faithful’s concerns, took to Twitter to pass on the message, which Doyle highlights in his article:

Any time Ramirez spends out of action will be devastating to an already-suspect club, as of late. With another loss to the Rays, the Red Sox now have a 12-14 record, arranging the furniture down in the cellar of the American League East division standings. They have lost four games in a row, after being swept by their arch rivals the New York Yankees, and have only three wins in their last ten games.

The Red Sox have scored a total of 123 runs and 114 RBIs, with Ramirez hitting 22 of them, himself. His 10 home runs have contributed to that total, smashing the ball with a .609 slugging percentage. As he hit the wall with his right shoulder, being a righty batter will be tougher for him if the injury’s effects linger.

Shoulders, like knees, are tricky things. Because of the complicated system of muscles and joint issues surrounding that part of the body, multiple injuries could have been sustained. Even if Ramirez only suffered a contusion to the muscle tissue, the swelling can throw off the arm’s movement, and can take a long time to settle, medication used or not. When Ramirez does return, there is no guarantee that his dominant arm will respond immediately the same way as it has for his quick start to this season. He has struck fear in opposing pitchers, but that was before the lion was wounded.

The fact that there is no timetable for a return, with the word immediately being a day-to-day concern, it shows how much the Red Sox are worried about the injury and how they don’t necessarily know what will happen next. Ramirez could be back as quickly as tomorrow or he could be out for weeks.

Ramirez is not the only injured outfielder for the Red Sox. Shane Victorino has also been out with a right hamstring strain. It has been reported by that he will be starting a rehab assignment this week. When asked about how much pressure the Red Sox seem to be putting on Victorino’s return to the lineup, Doyle tweeted:

Doyle’s quick response has to make some of Red Sox Nation wondering what the outfield situation will look like for the rest of the Tampa series as well as the one in Toronto, both division rivals who could separate themselves even further from Boston. Without a strong veteran presence, the outfield may ask much, once again, from its youth.

Mookie Betts will likely stay in center field. Depending on the pitcher, lefty bats of Daniel Nava and Brock Holt may be required, with Allen Craig getting some playing time. In the last seven games, these players combined for 6 RBIs, with Betts contributing 5 of them, himself. Although, to be fair, Nava has only had 5 at-bats in two games. None of these players are hitting higher than .250 in these games. Holt has hit .358, this season, but has only hit .214 as of late. Whatever the combination, having Ramirez in the dugout, instead of at the plate, severely lowers the potential scoring of the team, overall.

Will a return from Victorino help, if Ramirez is out for an extended period of time? Maybe, by leadership off of the field. It never hurts to have a former post-season hero talking to your younger players before the game. On the field, however, don’t necessarily expect Victorino to be the savior. In the 12 games he played this season, before the injury, Victorino hit just .143, with 5 hits in 35 at-bats, contributing 2 RBIs, 2 stolen bases, and 7 strikeouts. This performance is after an injury-plagued 2014, where the results were pretty much the same. He may turn the corner, but there is no guarantee that Victorino’s career will not just hit a proverbial wall, like Ramirez’s body did to the concrete one, last night.

Ramirez needs to be a quick healer for the Red Sox to have any chance of keeping up with the other teams in the AL East. He came back fairly quickly after his foot injury, earlier this season. Hopefully for Boston, he follows that up with a quick recovery for his shoulder. The Red Sox need that beast of a bat to feast at the plate.

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