Aramis Ramirez: The Catalyst The Cubs Have Been Looking For?

Jake KarmelCorrespondent IIJuly 28, 2009

CHICAGO - JULY 8:  Aramis Ramirez #16 of the Chicago Cubs bats against the Atlanta Braves during the game on July 8, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Aramis Ramirez went down with a terrible injury this past May verse the Brewers when he dove for a ground ball and hurt his shoulder. People thought he would never be the same this year. 

People thought he would be just like Derrek Lee when he came off his wrist injury. It pretty much took Lee a season and a half to get his power back.

Even Ramirez doubted himself. He was quoted as saying, "I can't hit a home run if my life depended on it."

He was wrong. Everyone was wrong.

Ramirez went down with the injury on May 8 and stayed on the DL until the beginning of July. During that time the Cubs struggled. They never played anywhere better than .500 ball.

Now he has returned and boy what a difference he has made!

Since his return, Ramirez has hit .313 with four home runs and 17 RBI in 16 games. He's back with a vengeance.

Since Ramirez's return, the Cubs have been pushed up into first place ahead of the Cardinals. As of July 28, the Cubs are a half a game ahead of St. Louis.

What a coincidence this is. Before Ramirez's injury, Soriano had 13 home runs. During the 50 or so games he was out, Soriano hit one. Since Ramirez's return to the lineup, he has hit four more home runs. Coincidence or not?

What about this? With Ramirez in the lineup, power stroke or not, other hitters are given protection. Maybe with Ramirez in the lineup, Milton Bradley will start to hit again.

The Cubs should try this situation.

Last year, Bradley hit in front of Josh Hamilton. Hamilton gave him lots and lots of protection. He saw fastballs all day and look at the season he had. He was an all-star.

I say put Bradley in front of Ramirez for a few weeks. The worst that can happen is Bradley continues to either get walked (which won't happen because pitchers won't want to face Ramirez) or he gets out. It is worth a shot.

This is a scary thought. Since Ramirez really got his stroke back which was after the break, Lee has hit for a higher average than ever before. Through 11 games, Lee is hitting .357! Not to leave out the fact he has three home runs and seven RBI.

Ramirez is the catalyst the Cubs have been looking for. Like I've said before, with the return of A-Ram look for the Cubs to make a run in the second half.