There are plenty of question marks surrounding the Sox going into 2015, but one of the bigger ones is Hanley Ramirez. It’s the signing that surprised everyone, the one I compared to seeing the (formerly) hot cheerleader you had a crush on in high school only to find out she’s an overweight single mother of three.
Yeah, I wasn’t a fan.
But hear me out, Hanley was good, but age and injuries have set in (yet have done nothing to hamper his bad attitude) and made him a shell of the player he once was. Heck I think I saw a projection for him that says he’ll hit .275 this year–that’s a far cry from the .300+ hitter he once was.
That said it looks like a change of scenery and the faith from his managers has done Ramirez some good. The outfielder/shortstop has been working hard all winter and reportedly feels great, better than he has in years in fact.
“I feel better and I feel stronger,” said Ramirez. “My body feels different.”
There’s no doubt it is different, as the Boston Globe reports Ramirez has worked out hard to pack on muscle and build a power-hitting outfielder’s frame. His personal strength and conditioning coach dropped some knowledge saying Ramirez now sits at 6’3″ and 240 lbs, far too big to be a short stop, but a decent size for a slugging left fielder.
“He’s never been bigger and more muscular,” Ramirez’s coach said. “We worked on getting his upper body and shoulders bigger and to work on his core and lower back. He’s had back problems, but he’s gone to see Dr. [Robert] Watkins in Los Angeles last year.
Our goal, through specific exercises to the back, is to keep his back strong. That will avoid a lot of problems. Right now he feels great.
There are obviously different movements he has to make transitioning from the infield to the outfield, but for the most part, the move to the outfield should help him physically.”
Ramirez has put in the work there is no doubt about that. Count me as optimistic, it will be a tough transition but I have no doubt that Hanley is willing to work hard to make it and be the best he can for the Sox. We needed a power bat from the right side and that’s exactly what we got, hopefully it works out.