Five Burning Questions For The Boston Red Sox

David Banks/Getty Images North America

David Banks/Getty Images North America

3. Is The First Base Job Really Going To Hanley Ramirez?

From super prospect shortstop to left fielder and now first baseman? It is not so unique. Chipper Jones actually started out as a shortstop, played some left field, and then became a third baseman. I don’t recall him being viewed as an awful defender at the hot corner. Then you have Miguel Cabrera, who also started as a shortstop (only in the minors) and then became a left fielder, third baseman, and finally first baseman. Positional adaptation is pretty common – hell, Raul Ibanez used to be a catcher. It is also true that first basemen are not usually seen as a team’s strongest defender, but a couple issues remain in moving Hanley to first.

I get that the Sox don’t want to feel like they’re wasting $88 million by not playing Hanley everyday. It’s problematic, though, as he is more than just a “defensive liability” in left field; he’s a total train wreck. In only 747.2 innings in left, he was a -19 DRS defender. Granted, playing in front of the Green Monster is probably more difficult than manning the bag at first. Can a player who’s career -88 DRS at shortstop and third base make the adjustments? Or is he just not a guy who should be playing defense?

Economic considerations aside, I hope that if by May 1, Ramirez is a circus side show at first, that they pull the plug on that experiment and hand the job to Travis Shaw. Yeah, I know. I can’t leave that one alone, can I?

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