Sunday, June 7, 2015

Pic of the Week

Hanley Ramirez plays a fly ball into a double in
the ninth inning on Thursday.
I wrote a lot this week about the virtues of outfield defense. It is my belief that the Twins are consciously emphasizing fielding prowess in the outfield, even at the expense of offense, and that they are benefiting from that.

Many teams do not take that approach. The Red Sox chose this winter to sign free-agent shortstop Hanley Ramirez, an outstanding hitter but an indifferent shortstop, and shift him to left field. Now, if there is a team and position where it makes sense to sacrifice defense for offense, it's left field in Boston. There's simply not much room there for the left fielder to cover,

And yet Ramirez has been little short of a disaster in left. A third of the way into the season, he's already cost the Red Sox 11 runs compared to an average left fielder. Imagine how bad it would be if he had to cover actual acreage in his home games.

The speculation in the Boston Globe this week has Ramirez moving to first base next year (Mike Napoli is a free agent after this season). Or taking over DH for the aging David Ortiz.

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