How much of a loss is losing David Ortiz? Let’s take a look. Aside from Ortiz’s clubhouse presence which can’t be beat by any Red Sox player, let’s see stat wise what we are really losing.
As many of you know the Red Sox signed former Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland to a 1yr/5.5million deal. Moreland had an off year in 2016 batting .233, but he did show some power with his 22 homeruns and also won his first Gold Glove Award. As for his playing time with the Red Sox, as of now he is the starting first baseman. I’m sure everyone can agree that he deserves that position after his spring training. He’s batting .341 and is 2nd on the team in RBIs (16) trailing Pablo Sandoval (19). Moreland hasn’t showed much power yet only have 1 homerun in 44 plate appearances, but the average is there and I think everyone can agree if he keeps a decent average and plays gold glove material at first base, then that’s a good sign.
Now a reason I love the Moreland signing is because Hanley Ramirez gets pushed to the DH position. Last year Hanley had a fantastic year with a stat line of 81R 30HR 111RBI and a .286BA. Do I expect him to repeat those numbers this year? Yes, I do. Hanley is only going to be playing DH now, which means half the game is taken away from him and half the chances of him getting an injured are gone. Along with that he only needs to focus on one thing, hitting. Which is also what Ortiz did. Hanley will play games here and there at first, but DH is his main position this year. Last year Ortiz had a phenomenal year as a 40-year-old and no one will ever match what he did. But a lot of people don’t think the Red Sox will be the same from a hitting standpoint, I think they will be fine. Having Hanley at DH will obviously not be the same as Ortiz, but I think Hanley’s numbers will be somewhat close to what Ortiz did last year. Having Hanley hit behind Mookie, Pedy and Benintendi, will create more RBI opportunities for him and having JBJ and Bogy hit behind him will create a good number of runs for him. In addition to that Hanley only played 147 games last year, at DH that number could rise. My overall predicted stat line for Hanley this year would be:
82 Runs 32 Home Runs 118 RBIS .284 Batting Average
Overall, I think the Red Sox will still have a very successful season with the loss of Ortiz and I look forward to watching them in less than a week.
P.S Red Sox have Chris Sale.
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