Aramis Ramirez: Getting a Grip...Literally!
Later this week we will hopefully see the return of Aramis Ramirez. It's been a rough year for fantasy owners, having to either drop the All-Star third baseman or painfully hold on and possibly waste a DL spot. Somehow I've ended up with Aramis two years in a row and I literally punch a wall overtime I see an article about how his poor thumb hurts him.
Get a freaking Band-Aid!
Numbers don't lie. Sports is analytical and looking at career numbers can tell you a lot. Aramis' career average is 83 runs, 30 homers, 108 RBI's, and a .282 average. These numbers aren't inflated either—this isn't a guy who who hits 50 homers one year and then 20 the next. From 2001-2008, Ramirez really was as cornerstone of the corner.
Last year was a huge test. A separated shoulder early on kept Ramirez out for two months and owners didn't know what to expect when he returned.
Well, he returned with a passion and finished the season relatively strong with 46 runs, 15 homers and 65 RBI's in only 306 AB. Owners in 2010 never saw this coming…
The season didn't start with the finger injury—just really really poor hitting. So far, Ramirez has 17 runs, five homers and 22 RBI's in 179 AB. Plus the dreaded .168 average—Ramirez is a career .282 hitter for God's sake! Every time owners saw a sparse home run this year they thought, "yeah, this is the game he needed, he'll turn it around now", only to be hugely disappointed the game after.
Enter the thumb injury.
I joked earlier calling him a big baby. Honestly getting a good grip on the bat is almost as important as seeing the ball. Trainers have changed his grip and padding to relieve the discomfort and hopefully get him back on track. The hard part for Ramirez will be fully adjusting to the new specs after holding his bat the same way for 13 seasons.
I personally still have faith in the big boy. He's been really good for a long time and this is just a hiccup that will hopefully be forgotten in a few months. He's still only 31 and has a good five+ years left in him. For all you fantasy owners out there who have stuck it out - God bless you. If Ramirez is on the waiver wire in your league, now is a good time to make the pickup.
Brighter days lie ahead!
Do you think Aramis will turn it around in 2010?
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