Whether you view Red Sox designated hitter Hanley Ramirez as a one of the biggest dogs in sports or not, the Boston Red Sox must stay patient with the talented hitter.
It is understandably frustrating for many Red Sox fans to not see Ramirez engaged for most of the season. It is even more frustrating to not see him play the field at all, although he is more than likely physically capable to do so.
When Hanley is locked in and focused on playing baseball, he is the Red Sox’ most dangerous hitter. When he is on a run, you can not pitch around him, just like the previous player who held down the designated hitter spot for the Red Sox, David Ortiz.
Go through the lineup, and every hitter has a weakness. Mookie Betts? All 15 home runs he has hit this year have been to his pull side, and only two of his 31 home runs last season were to the opposite field. Pitch him away and you limit Mookie’s damage.
Xander Bogaerts? Another good hitter but he struggles identifying low and away breaking balls. Dustin Pedroia? Pitch him low and he lacks the power to drive the ball.
Hanley Ramirez has the swing and the power to hit any pitch in the strike zone. Although his slash line of .259/.353/.801 is not up to par to what the Red Sox are hoping out of Ramirez, take a look at his number before and after the all-star break last season.
Before the all-star break, Hanley had a much higher batting average (.288) than he has currently, but his OPS is identical. After the all-star break, Ramirez’s batting average was just slightly down (.284), but his OPS skyrocketed to .947.
Hanley hit only eight home runs in 81 games before the all-star break. In 66 games after the break, Ramirez hit a staggering 22 home runs.
The Red Sox need to stay patient and hope that Ramirez can return to form, and become the power hitter the Sox lineup needs.
Follow Malik Zorrok @MalikStark_