Skip to main content

Hanley Exits Stage Right

Hanley Ramirez has been released by the Red Sox.  With Pedey coming back, this had occurred to me as an option but a very unlikely one.  It seemed like having three catchers was a luxury they couldn't afford, or they'd send Brock Holt down temporarily or put Nunez on the DL just because he really is always injured so why not.

In the end though, they realized keeping Hanley didn't make sense.  If he came out of his slump, you're likely going to get stuck with him for next year or have a conflict with him and the fans when you bench a productive player.  But it was more likely he'd have good moments but never be all that good.  He's been terrible for about 3 weeks now.  Cutting bait with Hanley means you have more money for next year (Kimbrel & Mookie perhaps), you don't have the headache of however he's going to act if/when you bench him, and you keep other options on your roster.  As for the money, you're already spending it either way so don't make a now decision based on that (there's been a sunk cost fallacy sighting (citing?), boys!)

Looking ahead, it'll be very interesting to see what the Sox do with the extra at bats.  Clearly, Mitchy "Two Bags" Moreland will - deservedly - get most of them.  We all know he's a far superior defensive player than Hanley.  He is also a better hitter.  Last year he was hurt and still was a slightly better hitter than Hanley.  This year it's not even close.

The lineup will now be Betts, Benny, Martinez, Bogaerts, Moreland, Pedey, Devers, Vazquez, JBJ.  But the real question comes when one of those guys goes down.  

We should expect the Sox to bring Swihart into a rotation to get him a couple starts a week.  He can play first and he can play outfield.  In addition, JD likes playing the field so when he does, they can put Swihart at DH.  That said, I think they will also DH Pedroia some if he's hitting ok.  I will also say again that the idea that they have not let Swihart play a single inning at 3B or 2B really makes me question the honesty of their professed "super utility" plan.

Let's also not forget Sam Travis is back in the lineup in Pawtucket.  He's been slow since returning to from the DL, but if he gets hot he could compete for at bats in Boston now - especially if Swihart just can't lock down a roll.  In addition, top hitting prospect Michael Chavis could still be a factor at 1B/DH by the end of the year.  He's in the middle of an 80 game suspension - quite literally as the PawSox have played 43 games.  He'd presumably start from near zero when he comes back, but it's not inconceivable that he goes to Ft. Myers in July, then Pawtucket where he has a hot August and comes to Fenway.  Also, in a pinch, the Sox could let aging former top prospect Mike Ott play some (then releasing him, as is the plight of such a player). He's hitting well in AAA.

The big question is: what would they do if Moreland went down for more than a couple days?  We know he'd likely fight through anything as long as he could and as long as Cora let him, but as we saw last year, that is not good for him or the team.  At this point, it would likely be Travis and Swihart - and maybe Eduardo Nunez - filling in if Two Bags went on the DL.  But if it were anything serious, they'd have to go shopping.  That's the risk you take, but a smart risk at this point.


Popular posts from this blog

The Hard Truth About Dustin Pedroia

For whatever reason, second base is a position in which career longevity is rare. Dustin Pedroia is 34 and most of his modern comparables didn't play much or play well beyond that age.  As I detailed a little while back, really solid second basemen like Jose Vidro, Carlos Bearga, Ray Durham, and Ian Kinsler all puttered out (or are currently mid-putter as is the case with Kinsler) around that time in their careers, or slightly earlier.  Placido Palanco is probably the best case scenario -- and he moved to third. 

It is of course possible that Pedrioa has some good years ahead of him.  It's possible his knee surgery eventually fully heals and gives him new life.  But it's also possible we're seeing the beginning of the end, or even the end of the end. 

I, like any Sox fan, want to see Pedroia out there and succeeding.  I want to believe that his passion for the game and Scrappy Doo-like "let me at 'em" attitude will win out.  But, while I'm not a docto…

The 2018 Red Sox Biggest Liability: Infield Defense

This Red Sox team is stacked.  At the moment, the biggest concerns seems to be the Mookie Betts hasn't been hitting and the fifth starter is likely going to be the perfectly capable Brian Johnson or Hector Vazquez for the first month or so.  But this team does have one real problem with it - and another possible one I'll write about later.  The infield defense has the potential to be pretty bad.  Given that I'm usually the one seeing hope in dark Sox times, I figured I'd try to dampen everyone's spirits now that we're cloaked in the warm glow of J.D. Martinez in a Red Sox uniform.

Based on what new manager Alex Cora has said so far, the Red Sox most likely Opening Day infield will be Hanley Ramirez at first, Eduardo Nunez at second, Bogaerts at short, and Devers at third.  That's a group that has the potential to really hit, but they also all have big defensive question marks.  It's not great when Bogaerts is your best defensive infield starter.  For the…