The Red Sox, having learned no lessons from the Crawford debacle, shelled out big money to bring in Hanley Ramirez to be their new left fielder in 2015. The oft-injured All-Star was the best bat on the market, but there was just one problem – Ramirez had never played the outfield.
More from BoSox Injection
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Why Red Sox fans should be rooting for Carlos Correa’s Mets deal to go through
Boston splurged on the upside of his bat, assuming they could figure out where to put him on the field later. That turned out to be a disaster, as Hanley’s adventures in the outfield produced a horrific -19 defensive runs saved, making him the worst defensive player in the majors at any position.
Nobody noticed, or at least didn’t care, how poorly Ramirez played defense when he was putting up big numbers at the plate in April. That all changed when he hurt his shoulder in a collision with the unforgiving left field wall. Ramirez returned after only a brief absence, but his swing wasn’t the same the rest of the season. After smashing 10 homer in the first month of the season, Ramirez would end up hitting only 9 more the rest of the way. He finished with a .249 average and .717 OPS, both of which were well below his career numbers. Combine his subpar offensive production with his atrocious defense and the Red Sox ended up with a player worth -1.3 WAR.
A move back to the infield seems to have salvaged Ramirez’s career. He’s not the hitter he once was, but his .277/.349/.455 line entering the day is at least acceptable and he’s not embarrassing himself at first base. That’s more than the Red Sox could have hoped for in the wake of last year’s pitiful display, but it still does little to solve the left field dilemma.
Next: The Curse of Manny