To make room for the recently activated Dustin Pedroia, the Boston Red Sox shocked the baseball world by designating Hanley Ramirez for assignment.
Ramirez got off to a hot start in April, silencing a lot of his doubters by hitting a cool .330 with three home runs and seventeen runs batted in. However, May was anything but spectacular for the 34-year-old slugger from the Dominican Republic, as he is hitting just .163 with three home runs and twelve runs batted in this month, which balances his numbers out at .254 with six bombs and 29 RBI.
With all that in mind, mixing in the fact that Hanley is just 302 plate appearances away from cashing in on a $22 million option for the 2019 season, it makes sense why Dave Dombrowski and company decided that it should be Ramirez who makes way for Pedroia to return.
Financially, it makes sense. As far as how the 2018 Red Sox are built, though? I can’t really put my finger on why exactly Ramirez goes, but the likes of Blake Swihart, Eduardo Nunez, or Jackie Bradley Jr. stay in Boston. Most specifically the latter.
If you want to point at Hanley Ramirez’ production in May, or lack thereof for that matter, you see a guy who cooled off drastically from April. In fact, many doubt there could possibly have been a worse bat in the Sox lineup in May. However, there was, and his name is Jackie Bradley Jr.
The defensive specialist sporting the No. 19 on the back of his jersey every night was an anemic .195 hitter in April, with just a .600 OPS. Many called it a slump at the time. That being said, slumps don’t usually last for two months, as it has for Bradley.
In May, Bradley is hitting .137 with a .228 OBP. So if April was a slump, what do you call May? How much longer does he have to be an automatic out before management realizes he just can’t hit? On top of that, he has an option left. So when the Red Sox activated Dustin Pedroia this morning, they could’ve done so without altering the 40-man roster whatsoever.
Instead, they thought it was better to cut a clubhouse leader, a dugout presence that was loved by all personnel, and a potential 30 home run hitter, while he was still 302 plate appearances away from potentially making that option vest for 2019. While Jackie stays in the MLB, with an option left, and may or may not figure out what it is that’s making him unable to make contact, let alone get on base.
It just doesn’t add up; and until we see some improvements from the personnel that’s replacing Ramirez, it probably won’t add up.