Red Sox to cut losses at DH position

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Eric D. Schabell
Contributing Writer

Back in June of this year this site touched on something that everyone seemed to be ignoring.

Why was no one talking about the lack of DH production for the Red Sox?

Maybe it was because the Red Sox were fighting their way back into first place in the AL East?

Maybe it was because everyone was healthy at the time?

Maybe it was because of the noise around the DFA'ing and subsequent departure of Pablo Sandoval?

Who knows, but there has been a constant lack of production around the DH position for the Red Sox since David Ortizz left Fenway Park for good last year.

Nobody wanted to talk about it, least of all Hanley Ramirez.

Back in June during a bizarre media session, Ramirez was surprised to hear about his lack of production against lefties.

"You're kidding me," Ramirez said. "It took you long enough to tell me that. I didn't know that for real. So, OK, after this conversation, let's see what is going to happen now. I'll say it. Yeah. Bring it. OK? I didn't know, I swear. Interesting. Thank you."

Ramirez then proceeded to ask how many strikeouts it was? Eight, in 45 plate appearances.

"Eight, in 45 plate appearances? You think that's bad? Come back to me with that in August," he said.

So here we are closing out August and where is the production?

In the month of August Ramirez is hitting .194 AVG, has 2 HR and only 9 RBIs. In his last 10 games he's hitting only .143 AVG with just 3 extra base hits.

ESPN reported that last season Ramirez hit 30 home runs and drove in 111 runs. This year he has 19 home runs and only 49 RBIs and only 13 hits have been to left field or up the middle. Last year he had such an easy and fluid swing, this year he has nothing smooth about it. He swings with complete and utter violence leaving no doubt his intent as the helmet flies off his head.

The Red Sox are aware of this too.

"I don't know if that's his barometer of effort, a helmet flying, but I agree with you. We see it as well," John Farrell said. "For players, when they're relaxed, when they're fluid, it seems to happen easier for them. When a player ramps up the effort level, they're not as consistent. I think there's a ramp-up of effort that might have caused him to miss some pitches on the plate."

"What the root of it is, I'm not sure if he's trying to generate more bat speed because he's been dealing with the shoulders, to start the swing earlier," Farrell said. "You see maybe a higher number of checked swings that are called strikes, where he can't hold up. That's a hitter committing early and going to get a pitch, and pitch recognition might be a little late. I don't know that it's about replacing someone [Ortiz]."

How can the Red Sox expect to survive any postseason run with such a gaping hole in their offense at the DH position?

Ramirez has a wins above replacement (WAR) of 0, meaning you can drop in any Triple-A player for the DH slot and the Red Sox are no worse off.

The question is not if the Red Sox will cut there losses at the DH position with Ramirez just like they did with Sandoval at third base, regardless of their contracts, but when.

When do you get tired of seeing the DH position consistently leaving runners on base?

When is enough, enough?

Post a comment or via twitter @erics_redsox with your thoughts.

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