BOSTON — They say with great power comes great responsibility, but for Hanley Ramirez, it’s the other way around.
The Red Sox first baseman has been a completely different player this season than he was in 2015. At this point, that’s nothing new, but Red Sox manager John Farrell thinks the change is thanks to the fact that first base is a “pivotal position,” which ultimately makes Ramirez more involved in the game.
“He’s done a very good job at first,” Farrell said before Saturday’s game against the Seattle Mariners. “As we’ve talked many times, getting back to the infield has been a comfort zone for him. He’s in the midst of every play, so that is, in its own way, naturally engaging versus playing left field, which was foreign to him.
“And I think it’s translated just to his overall approach to the game. He’s given everything he’s got on a given day, has played extremely hard every day that he’s walked out there. And while at the same time he’s working through some things offensively, he’s played a very good first base for us.”
Ramirez has had some ups and downs at the plate this season, but his .270 batting average certainly is better than the .249 mark he finished with last season. And Farrell still is very impressed with how his first baseman is approaching each game.
“I think he’s enjoying the game,” Farrell said. “And while he’s gone through some peaks and valleys with some of the offensive side, I think the fact that that attitude has helped him kind of keep things balanced a little bit more. He’s been a great teammate, and I think it’s evident by the way he gets down the line. We expect every player to run; let’s face it. But at the same time, Hanley’s effort has been outstanding start to finish so far.”
It’s hard to recall many players who have enjoyed a more abrupt turnaround in the eyes of Red Sox fans and media than Ramirez, but we have a feeling all is forgiven from Ramirez’s end.
Thumbnail photo via Marilyn Indahl/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Jun 11, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez (13) defends at first base during the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports