Hanley Ramirez Done for the Season?

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 Hanley Ramirezhim. 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.

Dave Dombrowski Has a Plan for the Team

Over the past few weeks, the Red Sox have made some major changes in the front office. Notable among those changes was letting go of now ex-GM/President of Baseball Operations Ben Cherington and bringing on former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski as the new President of Baseball Operations, and it hasn’t taken very long for Dombrowski to make his mark.

Dave Dombrowski has made it clear that he believes the Red Sox are a win-now team,Dave Dombrowski and all the moves he will make are to ensure the Red Sox can contend in 2016. Notable among his early moves was his input in moving Hanley Ramirez from left field to 1st base, a move that was long overdue. That also opened the door for the Red Sox outfield of the future, which includes Rusney Castillo, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr, to play together consistently for the first time.

The team also announced a move to have Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo play the corner outfield position, which lets Jackie Bradley Jr. play his best position, center field. Mercifully, that also squeezes Hanley out of the outfield for the rest of the season, as I mentioned above, which was a long overdue move.

So far, this is all very positive for the team despite them not having a shot at the playoffs in 2015. This gives me hope that the Red Sox can get back in contention for 2016. Granted, they still have to get an ace and some bullpen help, but the team is setting itself up well for 2016 and beyond with these moves.

It’s also a relief to have someone running the show who wants to get back into contention as badly as the fans do. Most of Red Sox Nation is fed up with the losing after what will likely end up as 3 losing seasons in 4 year. I know I am, and I’m glad Dave Dombrowski is working to get the team back to what it was just a few years ago. I can’t wait.