Let me be the first to rejoice. Hanley Ramirez will no longer be in the outfield, or so Torey Lovullo has told ESPN. I’m sure I’m not alone in expressing my relief, as the experiment to put Hanley Ramirez in left field has failed miserably. Now the Red Sox can look at the outfield as it will hypothetically look in 2016, with Jackie Bradley Jr., Rusney Castillo and Mookie Betts.
The logical conclusion would be to move Hanley to first, but the problem with that is you have Travis Shaw at first. He has hit 7 home runs so far in his limited time in the major leagues, which makes it hard to take him out of the lineup, at least in my opinion. Hanley has also played shortstop, but it seems really unlikely that they take Xander Bogaerts out of the lineup, since he’s playing up to potential and more this year.
So, where would that leave him? Yes, he has been taking more practice reps at first, but is that really the best option? In my opinion, no. I think the best way to go is to have him share time at DH with David Ortiz. There are no easy answers here, but any option that minimizes Hanley Ramirez’s fielding time is the best way to go to me. Maybe I’m wrong, and he does okay at first, but his defense has been atrocious so far, and we need to keep him as far from the field as possible. Again, I could be wrong, and I hope I am, but I think he would be best served as a DH, where all he does is hit.
“What about David Ortiz,” you ask? He’s near the end of his rope. Eventually, he will retire, and he’ll probably do it sooner rather than later. My guess is that he’ll get to 500 home runs then announce his retirement next season, so there will be opportunities for Hanley Ramirez to DH next season.
Not that any of this matters for this year, since the Red Sox are out of contention, but let’s try to keep Hanley out of the field as much as possible. For now, I’m just relieved he’s not in the outfield. The team seems to be better off without him in the outfield at the moment.