Hanley Ramirez has not played in a game since Friday against Detroit. He fouled a ball off of his foot and there really isn't a reason to push him to return early. The team is out of it and it gives guys like Jackie Bradley Jr. some much needed playing time to showcase himself not only to the Red Sox, but potential teams around the league that may be looking for an outfielder in the offseason.
But in my personal opinion, Jackie Bradley Jr. should be on this team. While his offense has always been the iffy part of his game, he has turned it around as of late and is showing flashes of what he could potentially be. A defensive outfield next year of Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts could be one of the best in baseball.
But that leaves someone out, doesn't it? That guy that they gave 5 years and $110 million to last offseason?
Hanley Ramirez was the best player on the Red Sox for the first half of the season. Unfortunately, he has had some small injuries that have contributed to him missing some time. The previously mentioned injury has kept him out for some time, but I think that there is a bigger issue going on here.
I think that the Red Sox want Ramirez to go back into the infield and he isn't very excited about it. Having Ramirez play first or third would help move bodies out of an already crowded outfield. While Ramirez has (very) slowly started to progress in left field, Jackie Bradley Jr. and others are ready to come up, or go to a club where they can get innings everyday.
Hanley may play in the game Wednesday against the Marlins, but don't be surprised to see him miss a couple more games before the end of the season.
It is time for Hanley to suck it up and be a team player. After all, in a year or two, when Ortiz retires, Ramirez will be the DH and will never have to pick up a glove again.
By Pete Packowski @Pete_BBS