Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hanley Ramirez Impresses with the Bat, but Causes Fright with His Glove

It was quite a day for our new infielder.  Hanley Ramirez went from an early morning press conference in Florida to wearing Dodger Blue in St. Louis that evening.  It was certainly a long day for the young slugger.
(pic link: twitter @Dodgers Jon SooHoo/Dodgers)

Fortunately, it didn't seem to wear him down too badly.  He came up to the plate five times and showed the Dodger faithful how he could help our inconsistent offense.  In fact, he was the main reason we scored any runs in yesterdays extra inning affair.  On the other hand, his defense looks a little shaky.  Was the tumultuous nature of the day the cause?

For history's sake, I thought I would briefly go through his day.
  • 1st at-bat:  Top of the 2nd with nobody on Hanley took a big swing and almost hit is out to deep centerfield.  He rounded the bases like a man possessed and wound up with his 3rd triple of the season- 1st as a Dodger.  Hanley would eventually score the Dodgers first run of the game on Loney's sacrifice fly.
  • 2nd at-bat:  Top of the 4th he came up with Andre Ethier on 2nd after his double. Ramirez flied out to deep left which allowed Ethier to scamper to third base.
  • 3rd at-bat:  Top of 6th with Mark Ellis on 2nd after his double.  Hanley contributes again by singling to center, allowing Ellis to score.
  • 4th at-bat:  Top of 9th with nobody on.  Ramirez grounded to the pitcher.
  • 5th at-bat:  Top of 12th with nobody on.  Hanley showed a great eye by taking a walk, but remained there.
 While playing third base he handled just two balls- both of them in the 9th inning.
  • Allen Craig ground meekly between short and third.  Hanley scooped it up and threw him out. 
  • The very next batter, Yadier Molina, grounded to the corner.  The ball wasn't quite a screamer, but was hit hard enough to bounce sharply off the St. Louis infield.  Hanley couldn't glove it, but at least he got in front of it.  The ball bounced off his chest and redirected toward the shortstop.  Cruz gloved it and fired it to Loney for the out.  It was the rare 5-6-3 out.
Overall, the addition of Hanley Ramirez appears to be a winner so far.  He definitely has a lively bat and should fit in nicely with Kemp and Ethier.  I don't know if I like him batting 5th in the lineup after our two other sluggers.  My gut feeling is that putting him between Kemp and Ethier might be the best way to go.  We'll see if Mattingly gives that a try in future games.  When it comes to Hanley's glove, I am a little worried.  He is no Gold Glover out there.

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