In a shocking turn of events, the Boston Red Sox have informed Hanley Ramirez that he will be designated for assignment to make room for Dustin Pedroia. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe was the first to report. Most thought that the Red Sox would DFA or release their third catcher and former top prospect Blake Swihart, or maybe even do something bold like option Brock Holt to Triple-A to save Swihart. This is a move none of us saw coming. Hanley got off to a great start in 2018 and carried the Red Sox on his back at times. His March/April numbers reminded us of old Hanley (.330 BA and .874 OPS), and he even had some big game winning hits. However, with barely a .700 OPS, it seems the Red Sox feel that Swihart has more left to offer and Moreland has been hard to bench with his 1.001 OPS. In contrast, Ramirez posted a miserable .163/.200/.300/.500 line in May with only 13 hits (though 3 were home runs).
Despite an outstanding April, Ramirez’s May tailspin has left him with his 2nd-worst career numbers thru 50 team games. In 2017-18, he’s been below-avg 1B. Moreland has outperformed him. Meanwhile, Ramirez lacked roster flexibility of other backups. https://t.co/mss93tJztT
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) May 25, 2018
Its sad to see Ramirez leave Boston as Panda did before him. The two big bad signings of Ben Cherington are now gone. While disappointed, as I’m a huge Hanley Ramirez fan, the Red Sox made the right move here. Swihart is capable of playing multiple positions. Hanley is barely a first baseman. The Red Sox are a worse team with Brock Holt in Triple-A and the Red Sox would be giving up on Swihart, who they could have moved for big-time talent earlier on in his career. While a painful move, this is the smart decision.
Ramirez had a rough run in Boston. Only once did he post an OPS over .800 during his resurgence in 2016 (.866). No one can say he didn’t try. He bulked up. He slimmed down. He switch positions. He worked with different hitting coaches. He even switch to the TB12 Method, which few have the discipline to do. Unfortunately, age and injury have caught up with Han-Ram and he’s likely going to be on his way to help another contender who could use some depth at 1B.
Even after the up and down stretch in Boston, Ramirez owns a .290/.361/.487 line with 269 home runs. Make no mistake, this is not the last we’ve seen of Hanley Ramirez and its in our best interest to find a way to get him back to the National League. You don’t want to run into him again in Cleveland or New York.
More to come…