Boston Red Sox send Hanley Ramirez for MRI on hand


The news regarding the injured left hand of Hanley Ramirez is beginning to look a lot less promising. With his recovery not progressing as well as anticipated over the past couple of days, the Red Sox have sent Ramirez back to Boston to have an MRI on his ailing hand.

Ramirez will miss his fourth straight game on Sunday since being struck by a line drive off the bat of Xander Bogaerts last Wednesday. Ramirez had initially expressed optimism that he would return quickly, citing Dustin Pedroia‘s trip to the disabled list as a reason for urgency to get himself back in the lineup. Now it seems that the 31-year old outfielder may end up joining his teammate on the DL.

"“I think at this time tomorrow we’ll get a better read on his roster status and exactly if there’s anything in addition to what was determined with the CT scan and the X-Ray,” manager John Farrell said prior to Sunday’s game."

Ramirez is batting .283/.330/.482 in his first season in Boston, with a team-leading 15 home runs and 38 RBI. That production will be difficult for the Red Sox to replace in the middle of the order, but picking up Alejandro De Aza earlier this month off of waivers has been helping to mitigate the loss. De Aza entered the day slugging .527 through his first 18 games in a Red Sox uniform before clubbing his 7th home run of the season on Sunday.

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The absence of Ramirez will also lead to more playing time for Jackie Bradley, Jr. While JBJ can’t come close to providing the offensive production of Ramirez, he does give the Red Sox a substantial defensive upgrade in the outfield. If he can lift his batting average above the Mendoza Line, the drop off in value from Bradley to Ramirez may not be as wide a gap as you would expect given that the team would be replacing an atrocious defender with an elite one.

The Red Sox have made no indication as to who would replace Ramirez on the roster if he is put on the DL, but we can speculate that they would call up another bat, considering the team currently only has two hitters on their bench. That could pave the way for Rusney Castillo‘s return, given the success he has had in Pawtucket. Castillo has hit .304/.350/.467 at the Triple-A level this year, but has yet to see that success translate to the major leagues this year.

Boston has dropped two of the three games since losing both Ramirez and Pedroia earlier this week. Ramirez knows the team can’t afford to have both of them out of the lineup, but a timetable for his return awaits the results of the MRI exam.