(Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

This past offseason, the Boston Red Sox invested over $150 million dollars in two hitters, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval was in the midst of celebrating yet another world series title with the Giants where he, once again, played excellent in the postseason. Ramirez, on the other hand, was coming off of another injury plagued season with the Dodgers. Although Ramirez’s recent history includes many trips to the disabled list, he is a proven hitter in the major leagues. At the time, the moves created buzz around a team that was coming off of a last place finish. The buzz encouraged the fans and the media to look forward rather than backward. Although both players had many successes in their careers, the Red Sox may regret investing in two hitters that have not lived up to the team’s expectations.

Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

Pablo Sandoval is known as a solid switch hitter in the major leagues who plays a good third base given his weight. However, from the start, fans and media members started to question his commitment to the game based on how big he was in spring training. His switch hitting ability has also come into question because of how poorly he hits when batting from the right side of the plate. When batting left-handed he has been great which has led to some discussion that he should become strictly a left-handed hitter. Over the past few weeks, Sandoval’s offense has tailed off and his defense has begun to show some cracks, including an error this past Sunday in the 9th inning of a game the Sox wound up losing.

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Hanley Ramirez has been an absolute disaster playing left field this season and his offensive performance in May has been almost as bad. In April, Ramirez was playing like an MVP  candidate hitting ten home runs and batting around .290. Some of his struggles since could be attributed to a shoulder injury he suffered running into a wall in early May. The shoulder Ramirez injured was the same that he injured earlier in his career which gave the team some concern that he may need to go on the disabled list. Despite the team’s concern, he only missed a few games then continued to play and as a result, his offense struggled. Maybe, if he had gone on the DL and rested the shoulder, he may have been able to come back healthy, rather than having a sub par month. One possible explanation as to why he continued to play, is that Ramirez wanted to show that he is willing to play through an injury and try to shake off the label as an injury plagued player. The issue with that explanation is if he really was injured, continuing to play may have hurt the team. Ramirez’s defense has been a major talking point all season long. In his career, he has played two positions, shortstop and third base. Both of those positions were occupied on the Red Sox, so the team decided to move him to left field. All season, he has looked very uneasy playing the position, often making routine plays look very difficult. The team needs Ramirez to play like he did in April, because if he hits like he did then, then his defense might be something that the team just needs to accept.

Given the concerns of each player, second guessing the decision of the team to sign both to huge contracts is easy. If the team had signed two lower level free agents to play third base and left field, then maybe they would have gone out and signed one of the better pitchers on the market. That position has been chronicled enough as being mediocre, at best, so signing a top starting pitcher would have been ideal. Even though both players have not played up to expectations,  if I were the general manager, then I still would have made the two signings because the offense was terrible last year and needed to be addressed. The pitching was not supposed to be as bad as it has been, but because of the struggles of the rotation, the choice to focus on the top hitters on the open market looks even worse.

 

Colby Gatz covers the Red Sox and Patriots for MFST, you can follow him on twitter at @bostonfan_15.

https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/65cb78c0-b89c-11e4-b143-89c7f5816b46_463860580.jpg?fit=630%2C419&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/65cb78c0-b89c-11e4-b143-89c7f5816b46_463860580.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Colby GatzAnalysisBaseballMLBNews and Updates#Hanley Ramirez,#MLB,#Pablo Sandoval,Boston Red SoxThis past offseason, the Boston Red Sox invested over $150 million dollars in two hitters, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval was in the midst of celebrating yet another world series title with the Giants where he, once again, played excellent in the postseason. Ramirez, on the other hand,...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?