5. Hanley Ramirez transition to first base and hot hitting
Ramirez had question marks of his own coming into the 2016 season as to whether he could handle first base. The hitting ability was not called into too much question, though his fade during last year’s second half had fans wondering (.449 OPS in 114 plate appearances). After last year’s left field disaster, would Hanley be able to do the job? Through the season’s first week, this has been a yes to any question of defensive competence at first base that anyone might ask. He has made all the plays, even scampering to the stands in Toronto to make a catch.
While no one is awarding Hanley the Gold Glove at first yet, his torrid batting start could have him on his way to Most Valuable Player (MVP) contention. The dreadlocked Dominican has four multi-hit games out of five, lacing a triple for his only hit in the other game. It is only 22 plate appearances, but he is 10-for-22, hammering a .455/.478/.727 slash line to put to rest any doubts about his offensive swoon last year in the second half.
After a tough two days that the team has had, it is good to remember that the team is off to a promising start. The pitching might not be where fans would like it to be right now, but they have the tools to get better. Price and Kimbrel will be better going forward and the memories of this month’s struggles will be long gone by season’s end.
Stay tuned to BoSoxInjection.com each Tuesday for the week’s Red Sox Power Rankings