Where Is The Uproar For Hanley Ramirez’s Slump?

While the Red Sox still sit in first place in the East, they have had their fair share of disappointments this year. Injuries, unfulfilled contracts, and astronomical ERA’s have low- lighted 2017. Not to be lost in these disappointments is Hanley Ramirez’s slump, although you won’t hear too much about it.

Ramirez’s brutal 2017 season so far has been swept under the rug. Whether it be Pablo Hanley Ramirez's slumpSandoval’s contract, John Farrell’s questionable managing or a pitcher blowing up on a reporter, there has always been something to talk about. If you don’t quite understand the severity of Ramirez’s ineptness, I won’t blame you. I’m here, however, to enlighten you. Buckle in.

It seemed Hanley Ramirez would finally be comfortable in a Red Sox uniform this year. He is finally the DH and would feasibly only play first base about twice a week. With all this time to focus on hitting, it makes you wonder how much Hanley’s got going on up there. Ramirez is hitting .241 with just a .747 OPS. You want to argue he’s just a power hitter? What power hitter do you know only has 17 extra base hits (7 doubles and 10 homers) and 29 RBI in June? That’s your DESIGNATED HITTER Red Sox fans.

Might I remind you, this is the American League. We (usually) don’t have to go through the bore every night of watching a pitcher trying to hit. With Ramirez, however, you may as well be a National League team. Sometimes, I’d rather see Chris Sale in the lineup than Hanley Ramirez. No matter where John Farrell has put him in the lineup, he just can’t hit. They’ve tried so hard to make Ramirez comfortable I fear he may be too comfortable to play baseball on a high level.

Hanley Ramirez’s Slump Is At The Plate And On The Field

Speaking of comfortability, I assure you there are guys playing in the field who are much more uncomfortable than Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez’s phantom shoulder injury has kept him out of playing first base, even in NL parks. Who is playing first base over him? Mitch Moreland. Yes, the Mitch Moreland who has a fractured toe and is still playing Gold Glove caliber defense. Since Ramirez refuses to gut it out and play, Moreland is forced to be a wounded duck out there. On that topic I leave you with this: how many throws do you see a first baseman make?

Luckily for Ramirez, he will never be the worst Red Sox acquisition of 2015. Pablo Sandoval may be the worst Red Sox signing ever and Rick Porcello has massively underachieved this season. This isn’t even on pace to be his worst season of production in Boston. In 2015, he had 12 doubles and 19 homers. This year, he’s on pace to smash that with a whole 14 doubles and 20 homers. That is NOT the production of a DH on a playoff team.

So I urge you Red Sox fans: pay attention to this clown. Boo him, put for sale signs on his lawn, I don’t care. Do something to convince me you aren’t a bunch of pink hats and actually know something about this team. I thought he was going to get it together, but time’s a wasting Hanley, David Ortiz isn’t gonna save you now.

What is Pablo Sandoval’s Role Here?

The Pablo Sandoval experiment in Boston has been a bigger mess than anything we’ve ever seen from this franchise. There have been some bad signings, but this one is the worst. Like a scene from the movie “Office Space” I must ask: What is Pablo Sandoval’s role here?

Let me be very clear: Pablo Sandoval has played his last game with the Boston Red Sox. Pablo Sandoval's RoleWhen you break down his game to the basics, it becomes very simple. He can’t hit and he can’t play the field. He’s a liability at third base and he can’t DH because he doesn’t even deserve to be called a hitter. He’s a switch hitter who can’t hit right-handed and he can’t pinch run. He is just a blob of mass with a Red Sox cap on.

His last moment with the Red Sox was as fitting as they come. John Farrell pinch-hit for him in a crucial point in the game because there was a 0% chance Sandoval would keep the rally going. Doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? Well, the Red Sox had no infielders left. Farrell put Christian Vazquez at third base for the ninth in one of my favorite moves he’s ever made. A guy who hadn’t played third since rookie ball was a better option than Sandoval.

For all the criticism I have for Farrell, I can no longer fault him for the Sandoval fiasco. This is all Dave Dombrowski’s crap at this point. This is all about Dombrowski’s reputation and not trying to burn up the $50 million he owes Sandoval this year. Farrell has been rendered completely helpless with his third baseman. There was no competition this spring training, handing Sandoval the job from day one. Oh how well that has worked out.

Pablo Sandoval’s Role Has Been Hurting the Red Sox

In 2017, Sandoval has graced Boston with a .212 average and has as many doubles as DL stints (2). He has an atrocious .269 OBP, a WAR of -0.9 and can’t hit lefties. In the field, he has five errors this year. That may not seem awful but those are only the plays he can actually waddle over to touch the ball. That doesn’t even cover the complete ineptness he has at third base. He’s an automatic out at the plate and anything but in the field.

Dombrowski has put Farrell in a really tough position, which brings us to Sandoval’s current status. He was put on the DL this week with an ear infection. Yes, an ear infection. Dave O’Brien tried passionately to convince us on the NESN broadcast that it was a real injury but come on. He’s one of the worst players in the league and he has a cough so it works perfectly. This is the phoniest injury of all phony injuries. Unfortunately, that’s all the Red Sox can afford to do right now.

So what is Pablo Sandoval’s role right now? Well realistically, he is the pawn for media fodder. As far as a baseball field, he shouldn’t be allowed on one anymore. He is the biggest waste of space the Red Sox have had this decade, maybe ever. His last hooray mixed with the broken belt incident are the two lasting memories we will have for him. The quicker the Red Sox dump him, the better I will feel about this season. So long Pablo, don’t let the door hit your butt on the way out, even though it’s nearly impossible to miss.

Craig Kimbrel’s Dominance is What Red Sox Traded For

One of Dave Dombrowski’s first moves as Red Sox President of Baseball Operations was trading for established closer Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel came from San Diego for a slew of prospects. At that point, he was one of the most accomplished closers in baseball, the fastest in major league history to reach 200 saves. It took a year, but we’re starting to see Craig Kimbrel’s dominance that made the trade such a bargain.

Kimbrel’s first season in Boston wasn’t exactly his best. By no means was it bad but theCraig Kimbrel's dominance back of his jersey could’ve aptly said “Cardiac Arrest” over his number 46. In his 53 innings of work, he surrendered 30 walks and four home runs and only recorded 31 saves. While that last statistic may not seem bad, he already has 17 saves this season not yet halfway through. Kimbrel’s defining moment of the 2016 season may be when he gave up a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira after the Red Sox had already clinched the division.

This season has been much like a typical Kimbrel one and then some. In a word, he has been dominant. Like ridiculously dominant. He is 17 of 18 in save opportunities and his WHIP is a minuscule 0.49. On top of leading the league in saves, he has struck out an astronomical 53 of the 96 batters he has faced.

Reasonably so with those numbers, he has been a lot more comfortable to watch as a fan. His fastball is once again living in the 97-99 MPH range and he has had no trouble locating his slider of curve ball. It was the lack of breaking ball control last year that attributed to all those walks. Now, however, batters can’t even touch the 29 year-old. Kimbrel’s performance this season is a big reason why the Red Sox have an outstanding record hen leading after seven innings.

Why Was Craig Kimbrel’s Dominance Missing in 2016?

The masterful work of the Red Sox closer this year brings up a lot of questions about his 2016 season. Personally, I don’t think Kimbrel was 100% healthy last year. He missed a few weeks in July with a knee injury but I think it was more than that. He had horrendous location for the first time in his career. Also, you have to take into account where they got him from. He was traded from the Padres, who sent damaged goods over in Drew Pomeranz without telling the Red Sox he was hurt. I think there’s a very real possibility they did the same with Kimbrel.

If Kimbrel can keep up this pace, it will be nothing but great news for the Red Sox. Like having a clutch, dependable kicker in football, having a top-notch closer is essential to a championship team. It changes how you manage late in a game. With the incompetence of John Farrell, a good closer can correct a lot of his mistakes. Honestly, If Kimbrel is half the closer he has been so far, the Red Sox are in good shape. Yes, he’s been that good.

David Price’s Return Resembles A Mid-Season Acquisition

Attitude aside, if David Price can stay healthy and pitch well, the Red Sox are in good shape. He could add that vital power arm the Red Sox have been yearning for all year and we can finally see that Big Three we’ve wanted in the rotation. David Price’s return could be better than any mid-season trade the Red Sox could’ve made.

First and foremost, we still have to worry about Price’s health. The injury he sustainedDavid Price's return almost always leads to Tommy John surgery. The fact that it didn’t lead to that diagnosis is nothing short of a miracle. Also, he’s 31 years old. The older these guys get, the harder it is to come back from these kinds of injuries. Also, the weather in New England has been absolutely miserable this month. Arctic temperatures and poor weather never helps a guy whose arm isn’t 100%. It is no guarantee Price can finish out this season without any problems.

Price also still needs to bounce back from some disappointing stretches last year. As I’ve said before, he didn’t have a bad year necessarily. It was just underwhelming. Now, he is clearly not the ace of the staff like was asked to be last year. With Price having the mental toughness of a middle schooler, taking that pressure off him could be huge. With the dominance of Chris Sale thus far, Price can become a great complimentary pitcher. That’s what $217 million will get you these days.

Not to be lost in this, Price was good in his return. Good enough anyway. He went five innings and gave up three runs on just two hits. Not to sound like Clay Buchholz, but his one bad inning was very preventable. He laid a meatball over the plate to Melky Cabrera for a 3-run homer and that was it. He did have some issues with his control, however. The two guys on base there were both walked and Price was constantly losing hitters when ahead in the count.

Physically, he looked good. He couldn’t common his cutter but his fastball was hitting 95-96 MPH. We’ll see if that comes back to bite him, but he was efficient for a guy coming off an injury like that. He hit his 90 pitch limit in those five innings but wasn’t too stressed. Cabrera’s home run was the only time there was more than one White Sock on base against him.

Overall, Price was impressive. If he can hold up, even after back to back losses, this could be huge for Boston. Price gave them a chance to win yesterday before Matt Barnes blew it. This could prevent the Red Sox from making an ill-advised trade for a starter this summer. Again, David Price’s return could be a mid-season acquisition that can propel the Red Sox towards the playoffs again.

David Price’s Attitude Is Child-Like

It’s the same old story for David Price, the stage is just a little smaller. Instead of tweeting from the clubhouse at Fenway Park, he is ignoring his problems in the friendly confines of Pawtucket, RI. But Pawtucket hasn’t been kind to Price. His recent actions have just David Price's attitudereinforced what we already knew: David Price’s attitude makes him look like a 12-year-old.

Price’s rehab starts for Pawtucket were highly anticipated as the Red Sox need him in the rotation like humans need air to breathe. Unfortunately for the Red Sox and their fans, they may be on a planet without oxygen. Put simply: Price has SUCKED.

After a mediocre first start where he only lasted two innings, he found a way to make it worse Wednesday. He went three and two-thirds, giving up six runs on seven hits and throwing 89 pitches. To make matters worse, Price left McCoy Stadium before talking to the media. Yes, he sped away in a $200,000 truck so jacked-up it resembles a tank and is aptly named the “General Patton.”

Amazingly, Price somehow navigated Route 93 through his tears, trying desperately to avoid the media. This is not high school. Frankly, this isn’t even the rest of the major league cities. The Boston sports media has tamed a lot over the last decade and yet Price still can’t handle it. There are beat writers who would lick off his own tears, but he had to dip out of a game early to avoid those monsters. God forbid we want to know why a Cy Young winner is getting lit up by a team called the Louisville Bats. How dare we.

David Price’s Attitude is Nothing New

This is only the latest in the teenage soap opera that has been Price’s Red Sox career. He has not been able to handle reporters bringing up his horrendous playoff resume and a lackluster 2016 season. Price has done interviews solely to show he cares for his teammates and that he has had it rough. If his thirst for being liked was the same as his thirst for winning playoff games, he’d be the second coming of Cy Young himself.

If Price thinks he has had it tough here, boy is he dumb. Carl Crawford had it tough. J.D. Drew had it tough. John Lackey had it ten times more tough than David Price has ever had it. Lackey was actually atrocious his first two seasons and was absolutely destroyed for it in the media. Now that is a guy who had a reason to complain. How did he answer it? He was great in 2013 and won the World Series. Price left a minor league game early in a tank!

Unfortunately, this is something we’re gonna have to deal with. He could opt out after next year but that is looking less and less likely. He certainly isn’t gonna change. He’s gonna tweet, he’s gonna do these dumb puff pieces in Boston Magazine, and he’s gonna complain. He hates Boston and Boston is gonna really start hating him back if he doesn’t just grow up.

David: your voice is deeper, your acne is gone; it’s not that scary to answer some questions after a crappy start. So just get over it.

Is A Todd Frazier Trade The Answer For The Red Sox?

With the Red Sox off to a disappointing start, Dave Dombrowski and his disciples are desperately scrambling for some Flex Seal to cover the holes of a sinking ship. The two major holes are on the corner infield as well as another starting pitcher. The Red Sox’s Todd Frazier traderecent trip to scout the White Sox seemed like it could cover all those problems. The result of the trip? Swirling rumors of a Todd Frazier trade.

The lack of production at third base has been no small story for the Red Sox the last few years. The problem has grown tremendously this season. Pablo Sandoval has missed the last month with a knee injury and was underachieving before his DL stint. So yeah, the Red Sox need help at third, but is Todd Frazier the answer for this issue?

Frazier’s 2017 hasn’t been stellar by any means, either. The two-time All Star is below the Mendoza line, hitting .195 with only four homers and 17 RBI. Not one to hit for average, he only hit .225 in 2016 but mashed 40 homers. He is a dead pull hitter which would obviously be extremely favorable playing at Fenway Park. His numbers this year, however, aren’t much further off than Sandoval’s and Frazier has played the whole year.

Most Red Sox fans reasonably thought the scouts were going to Chicago to see starter Jose Quintana. Quintana has been Chicago’s ace this year and the White Sox haven’t been shy about putting him on the trading block. The problem with that would be the price. The Red Sox are desperate for a starter and everyone knows it so the price will sky-rocket. With all the prospects Boston has given up over the last two seasons, that may be near impossible at this juncture.

So we move back to Frazier. The price for him should be astronomically less even though they are desperate for a third baseman as well. Frazier has almost no value to any other contender. With the White Sox about to blow things up after a 20-22 start, they’ll be looking to get Frazier off their hands and eat up most of his salary.

That being said, this might not actually be a terrible deal. Look, Frazier isn’t gonna hit .300 or even .250 probably, but he has some value. He is an every day player who can play both first and third. With Hanley Ramirez’s nagging injury, that can finally allow Mitch Moreland the occasional day off. He will also bring some power to a lineup that has absolutely none right now. With no pop coming from Ramirez, Xander Bogaerts, or Dustin Pedroia right now, that could be crucial.

Next year, Rafael Devers and possibly Sam Travis will be ready to go at those positions. For now, they’re desperate. If they can get Frazier at a nice price without giving up high-end prospects, this could be alright. I’m not exactly ecstatic about this, but the Red Sox need something right now. In the end, like any of these deals, it needs to be the right price. Dave Dombrowski never overpays, right? Right?