Boston Red Sox place Hanley Ramirez on disabled list


The Boston Red Sox placed Hanley Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation on Saturday. The move is retroactive to August 27, which means he could be activated by September 11, although there has been no official timetable given for when the team expects him to be ready to return.

The now former left fielder and potentially future first baseman has been sidelined for the past 7 games with what the team had been referring to as shoulder fatigue. Ramirez recently admitted that his shoulder had been bothering him for a while, but he kept quiet about the injury because he wanted to stay in the lineup.

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The decision to put Ramirez on the DL is a curious one considering September roster expansion negates the benefit of being able to call up someone to replace him. Usually if a player is put on the DL in the final month of the season it’s to allow them to make a rehab appearance or to recall a player that was just sent down. It’s unclear if either of those scenarios applies in this case. The Red Sox have made no announcement of any additions to the roster and the minor league schedule may have concluded by the time Ramirez is ready to take the field again.

Here’s one theory. When Ramirez does return, we know it won’t be in left field. The 31-year old has been working out at first base lately and claims that he will appear in a game at the position before the season is over. Perhaps the DL stint is an excuse to send him to Pawutcket to test him out at first before experimenting with it in a major league game.

Then again, perhaps the move was made so that everyone would stop asking when Ramirez’s name would appear on the lineup card again.

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In the meantime, the Red Sox will use Ramirez’s absence as a chance to get a longer look at Travis Shaw. The rookie has started to cool off after a pleasantly surprising start to his big league career, but he’s still hitting .287/.336/.530 in 37 games this season.

Ramirez got off to a scorching start in April, blasting 10 of his 19 home runs in the opening month of the season. Various injuries have conspired to derail his season, sending his production into a nose dive. Since the break he has hit a measly .183 without a home run and only 7 RBI. Combine that with the disastrous results of his transition to the outfield and it’s been a disappointing first season for the high-priced free agent acquisition.

The time off will hopefully allow Ramirez’s shoulder to heal so that he can regain the ability to drive the ball. Along with a move back to the infield, where his poor glove work will hopefully be less of a liability, we may actually catch a glimpse of a productive Ramirez again before this season is over. It’s too little, too late for this year, but it would certainly make us all feel better about his place on the team heading into next season.