It doesn’t look like Hanley Ramirez will be using his first baseman’s glove all that much
|04.20.17 at 11:29 am ET|
It’s looking more and more like Ramirez isn’t going to be using his first basemen’s glove as much as the Red Sox initially thought.
“He and I have had many conversations about this,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell. “We know we have inter-league coming up relatively soon in National League ballparks. He’s aware of that. I’m not throwing the towel in on him playing first base. At the same time we’ve been able to be pretty darn productive with Mitch going every day.”
So, what about the plan to have Ramirez play first base, giving Chris Young an opportunity to serve as a designated hitter?
“That still is an alignment I would like us to achieve,” Farrell said.
With Ramirez’s shoulders not allowing him to play first throughout spring training, it delayed the process of implementing the original strategy. And when Ramirez was stricken with an illness, eliminating the plan to play him in the field in Detroit, it paved the way for Moreland to show he could handle the first against lefties and righties.
Moreland came into Thursday afternoon’s game hitting .351 with an 1.010 OPS. Against left-handers the lefty hitter was managing a .273 batting average and .839 OPS.
“After the missed the series in Detroit, we kind of backed away from that, giving him a chance to regroup physically,” said Farrell of Ramirez working out at first base. “But that’s not something we’re turning the page away from.”
Farrell also pointed out that, after his conversations with the righty hitter, Ramirez is still open to playing in the field.
“[He’s] not resistant,” Farrell noted. “We’re getting to the point with Jackie [Bradley] coming back, getting to full strength that this is going to be more of the intent than it’s been because quite honestly we haven’t had the pressing need with the injuries we’ve dealt and guys being sick.”
If Ramirez isn’t going to play in the field until the Red Sox’ first inter-league road game, coming May 9 in Milwaukee, one of the challenges for Farrell will be finding playing time for Young. Bradley is returning to the lineup Friday, and Andrew Benintendi has been hitting lefties at a .357 clip.
“Where he’s going to filter through and be in a similar role that he was when he signed here,” said Farrell of Young. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to take at-bats away from him. obviously Jackie coming back and having that alignment against right-handed pitching is likely going to be a better matchup for us. But Chris has done an outstanding job in the role that he has here and he’ll continue to be a valuable guy on this team.”
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