The Dodgers big money experiment for 2013 isn’t off to the best start. Zack Greinke is on the shelf after a violent collision with a passive-aggressive refrigerator, Chad Billingsley learned pitching with a jacked-up elbow doesn’t really work and the rest of the starting rotation caught the plague over the last two weeks.
Matt Kemp couldn’t hit for three weeks and Hanley Ramirez got hurt during the World Baseball Classic. The Dodgers starting shortstop is yet to play in 2013. Until now, as the Dodgers activated Ramriez from the disabled list mere hours before tonight’s game as Clayton Kershaw was placed on the bereavement list.
Hanley is not starting for the Dodgers tonight but you better believe they’ll get their starting shortstop back into the lineup as soon as possible. Some might say Ramirez’s days as a shorstop should be over, that he’s better suited to a third base role – if not one in the outfield. But the Dodgers need help as shortstop in the worst kind of way, posting a 18 wRC+ collectively this season. That’s right, 18. 100 is league average, Dodgers shortstops are coming in at 18.
Justin Sellers and Luis Cruz just aren’t getting it done. However much Hanley gives back with his glove, he’s bound to more than provide with his bat. After a down season in 2012, ZiPS projects Hanely to post a .270/.344/.440 – a far cry from his peak days with the Marlins. It is also a far cry from the .161/.221/.196 line the Dodgers SSers are rocking in 2013.
Adding Hanely Ramirez would help any club in baseball. The Dodgers need him more than most. Hanley doesn’t fix all the Dodgers ills but he certainly solidifies the lineup and a position desperately in need of an upgrade. This is a good thing for LAD. Very good. Bad news for everybody else in the NL West. Very bad.