Hanley Ramirez Trade: Big Move Doesn't Guarantee Postseason Berth For LA Dodgers
First of all, applaud the Dodgers for being bold. Heading into action on Wednesday, they were 2.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the National League West and half a game behind the Atlanta Braves for the final wild card spot.
So upgrading an offense that ranks 25th in runs (381) and 28th in slugging percentage (.364) was a necessity.
But Ramirez is not going to magically solve all of their offensive woes.
The 28-year-old is hitting .246 this season, with 14 home runs, 48 RBI, a .428 slugging percentage and a .749 OPS. He is hitting a mere .179 in the month of July and seems to have lost some serious bat speed in the last year.
For those clamoring that he needed a change of scenery, remember that he only hit .243 with a .379 slugging percentage and a .712 OPS last year in an injury-plagued season. It seems as if his passion for the game is waning, as the 2009 batting title season becomes a distant memory.
Another red flag is Ramirez’s .187 batting average on the road this season. With two years and $30 million left on his contract after this season, anything short of a miraculous revival from these horrid numbers will not net the Dodgers a return for their investment.
This isn’t the same as getting Manny Ramirez, one of the greatest pure hitters of all time. Hanley has a world of natural talent that hasn’t been used to his full advantage, and now, the bad habits in his swing are becoming harder to correct.
Ramirez is simply not the player he once was, and I would be shocked if he were to crack the .275 barrier with the Dodgers. Sure the lineup has been upgraded, but Ramirez won’t provide the serious jolt many fans now expect.
You don’t lose 100 points on your batting average in the span of two years and expect to magically transform back into an All-Star level player.
Ramirez will likely play shortstop until Dee Gordon comes off the DL, a position he doesn’t seem to have the athletic ability to play any longer. Then, he would likely be shifted over to third base, which he has not exactly been great at thus far in 2012.
Will Hanley Ramirez Solve the Dodgers Offensive Woes?
So on top of the hitting question marks, his status as a formidable fielder is in serious jeopardy as well.
There is no question that the three-time All-Star has the ability to turn things around, and maybe a change of scenario is exactly what he needs.
But when you see the steady regression of the last two years and a player who has never shown the desire to be great, it’s hard to imagine Ramirez magically flipping a switch and becoming a star once again.
The Dodgers are better with Ramirez, but still need more help to feel comfortable about the playoffs.
Hanleywood? More like Hanleywont.
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