Florida Marlins Have Struggled Without Hanley Ramirez in 2011

James Bondman@@james_bondmanCorrespondent IAugust 7, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 02:  Hanley Ramirez #2 of the Florida Marlins is helped from the field after injuring himself in the sixth inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 2, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

In a season that has been marked by a series of injuries, the crippled Marlins have struggled to hang on in the midst of what has been an up and down year. 

It all began with Logan Morrison in April, Josh Johnson in May and then translated to Chris Coghlan in June hasn't been felt as much as with shortstop Hanley Ramirez this season. 

Ramirez suffered a lower back strain to begin the month of June and last Tuesday chased a pop-up beyond his reach that landed in left field. On the play, Ramirez extended his arms but dived flat on the grass, causing his left shoulder to take the brunt of impact.

In games that Hanley Ramirez has played this season, the Marlins are 51-41 which is a vast difference from the 4-18 record in the 22 games he has missed this season. 

Back when his numbers included 24 home runs, 106 RBIs and a .342/.410/.543 clip in 2009, he was second in the MVP voting in the National League.  

While Ramirez is having his worst statistical season of his career with a .243/.333/.379 clip to go along with 10 home runs and 45 RBIs through 92 games, his presence to the young lineup can't be denied. 

Ever since Jack McKeon has been manager and placed Ramirez in an unfamiliar part in the order (cleanup), he has hit .304 (risen his average from .200 to .243) and hit six home runs and driven in 28 runs.

The Marlins got back to .500 last Tuesday in New York before getting swept in four games against the Cardinals without Ramirez.

If team is to ever reach the Phillies and Braves in the near future, Ramirez must continue his assault and get back to his MVP caliber days of 2008 and 2009.