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In 2005, then-general managers Jed Hoyer and Ben Cherington traded a young shortstop prospect named Hanley Ramirez to the Marlins to get Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell – ultimately leading the Red Sox to a World Series championship in 2007. At the time, little was thought about the young prospect, but ten years later the Sox and Ramirez reunited. As Cherington inked Hanley Ramirez to a 4-year deal, there was great intrigue around the idea of Hanley returning to Boston.
From the beginning of Spring Training, Hanley displayed no desire to learn how to play the Monster and it showed when he injured himself very early on in the 2015 season colliding with the side wall at Fenway. The injury prevented him from playing a full season, only appearing in 92 total games that season. In the later stages of the season, it was determined by Brian Butterfield that he would need to learn to play first base.
In his first season playing first base, he played respectfully sometimes making great plays while other times not looking so good. The Red Sox took the good and the bad, despite losing a game on a Hanley overthrow in Anaheim.
His offense also returned, blasting 30 homeruns and driving in over 100. His highlight of last season was when he hit a walk-off home run against Dellin Betances that began the eleven game win streak last season. There was hope among many Red Sox fans, myself included, that he could potentially live up to that big money contract.
As the news broke of Ortiz’ retirement, Hanley talked about how he wanted to take over the DH position. He was confident that he could be the DH that could be in the middle of the lineup hitting lots of homers and driving in close to 100 runs.
Hanley has struggled from the very beginning, in 2017. He’s struggled badly against both right-handed and left-handed pitchers only batting .238 with 22 homeruns and driven in a total of only 58 runs.
That’s not what you want out of your Designated Hitter position in an American League lineup.
With the post-season only two weeks away and roster spots up for grabs, Dave Dombrowski will decide who makes the cut. Based on performance alone, Hanley does NOT deserve a spot on this team’s roster. In my opinion, they would be better suited with a young Sam Travis that has exemplified poise and patience at the plate.
This does not mean that Hanley won’t make the cut, as it would be highly unlikely that they leave a veteran presence off the roster – barring an injury.
Regardless of what happens in the 2017 postseason, it may be in the Red Sox best interest to move on from the declining DH.