Hanley Ramirez is officially done for the season, as Torey Luvollo told ESPN that he gave Hanley permission to being his off-season rehabilitation program in Fort Lauderdale, Florida today.
Let me be the first to breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe this will end up being a good thing for him. Hanley Ramirez has not been playing much lately anyway, which has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It has given way to the Red Sox young guns to showcase their skills, and the Red Sox have benefited greatly from that, as they have been playing much better in the last month or so.
The question I would have is “What does this mean for Hanley’s Red Sox future?” He’s the highest paid player annually, at $22 million a year, and while the story put out by Red Sox management seems like a believable story, since Hanley’s been struggling since he collided with the Green Monster back in May, I still have to wonder about what the team’s plans are with Hanley Ramirez. Given the way some of the young guys have been playing, it seems hard to figure out where Hanley will fit it next season.
I personally think the team should give him at least one more year, but not in left field. Hanley was a shortstop before coming here, but there is no way, save for serious injury, he’ll be put in at short ahead of Xander Bogaerts. One option would be for him to platoon somewhere, either at first base with Travis Shaw, or at designated hitter with David Ortiz. I find it hard to see him getting regular playing time in the outfield with the way the 3 regular guys (Castillo, Betts, Bradley Jr) have been playing well for the most part. I also find it hard to imagine that the Red Sox cut David Ortiz or Travis Shaw out of the picture to make room for Hanley Ramirez, unless David Ortiz retires, which seems unlikely at this point.
Maybe this is the team’s way of saying he doesn’t really have a future with the team, since other players that have suffered season-ending injuries (i.e Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa) are still with the team and Hanley is back in Florida. That’s just speculation on my part though. It could also be a blessing in disguise, and he might come back next year with a renewed sense of purpose, and he’ll come back an improved player. I find it hard to believe they won’t at least try and find a place for Hanley Ramirez next season after investing a monster contract in him, but I could be wrong. We’ll just have to wait and see where this goes.