With Eduardo Nunez coming back, we ask the question; Do we truly need Hanley Ramirez?
The Boston Red Sox just finished up a nine-game road trip and Hanley Ramirez started just once. In the one game he started, he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs in the Red Sox victory. One question you have to ask for the 2017 season is where has Ramirez gone?
The designated hitter and first baseman for the Red Sox has dealt with many injuries this season, from the shoulder problems that have been popping up to his biceps that have been giving him problems. When the Red Sox have traveled to a National League park, he has not started in any of those games.
Eduardo Nunez returned Monday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. Manager John Farrell wants to get Nunez at-bats at designated hitter before he is ready to take the field. With Nunez taking over the designated hitter role, Farrell said he wants to put Hanley at first base so he can gain some consistency.
"“I would like Hanley to get on the field at first base, Farrell told reporters, per MassLive.com. “The night in Baltimore and then the pinch hit here Friday night, they’re probably the (six) at-bats most consistent he’s had in quite some time. So I know he’s feeling better about himself.”"
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When Hanley is swinging the bat well, the Red Sox are a different offensive team. It is safe to say that Hanley’s statistics from last year were because he had David Ortiz in front of him. When the teams would try to pitch around Ortiz, they would just run into one of the biggest and most reliable forces in all of baseball. When you look at that statistics throughout Hanley’s career as a member of the Red Sox, this season is a lot like his first year, when he batted just .241 and had only 19 homers. I would say that not only Hanley has been affected by the disappearance of Big Papi.
The entire lineup has seen their numbers decrease since Ortiz left. But I think the loss has hit Ramirez harder than most. Ortiz was someone he could look up to. Someone who he could look to for advice, and be someone who could get him out of a funk.
Is Ramirez still starting material? With the acquisition of Nunez, and now that he is back from his stint on the disabled list, I would tend to go with no, he is no longer starting material, simply because Nunez has become someone that we have relied on, and someone who has also carried his weight, and then some.
Nunez departed early from his first game back in the lineup after aggravating his knee at the plate. It’s unclear if he’ll miss additional time but assuming he remains available heading into the postseason then Ramirez is in danger of losing significant playing time.