Hanley Ramirez is off to hot start for the Boston Red Sox, which is convincing some people that he should be the designated hitter next year.
As we all know, Boston Red Sox legend David Oritz is a little over a month into his retirement tour. From receiving a big cowboy hat in Houston, to a box of expensive cigars in Chicago, Ortiz is milking it all in before he rides off into the sunset as one of the best, if not the best, designated hitter to ever play the game. When that day happens, Red Sox Nation will have to realize what they’re going to do with “Life after Ortiz.”
The big question is who will replace Ortiz as the DH after the 2016 season. You should realize that the Red Sox may already have that player on the roster —Hanley Ramirez.
During Tuesday night’s 13-5 win against the Oakland Athletics, Ramirez was penciled in as the DH because Ortiz had the day off. Ramirez took advantage of focusing on just hitting last night and went 3-for-4, with 2 RBI’s coming from a home run that still hasn’t landed yet, and a walk.
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This is just a small sample of what Ramirez can do if he were the DH, not worrying about his defensive production. Even though Ramirez only has 28 career games as the designated hitter over the past three years, he has a slash of .352/.405/.690 when filling that role. Not that bad from a candidate who could potentially take over Big Papi’s starting job in 2017.
Back in February, Ramirez was asked about the whole situation about potentially moving to DH after the 2016 season. But he said that he’s not really worried about it.
"“What if I win a Gold Glove, what is going to happen next year?” Ramirez asked reporters. “It’€™s too far away. I don’€™t make those decisions. I have a boss.”"
Comical at the time, but Ramirez has been surprisingly productive at first base, making people think about keeping him there after the 2016 season.
Don’t be silly people.
You need to remember that Hanley’s hamstring’s can snap any moment, landing him on the 60-day DL. He’s injury prone. It’s that simple. With that being said, if he were to be the designated hitter for years to come after this season, it would reduce the chances of him getting hurt because he won’t be on the field playing defense. Also, you could put Travis Shaw back at first base once this season comes to end.
Besides, with a couple heavy hitters from Toronto hitting the free agent market after this season – Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion – don’t be surprised if the Sox try to make another splash next offseason by signing one of them. With Ortiz hanging up his cleats, you’re going to want another big bat in the lineup to help out Hanley.
Next year is definitely going to be interesting not seeing No. 34 step into the batters box. But with Hanley starting off the year red hot, it’s scary to think what he can do if he were to take over the designated hitter position.