Hanley Ramirez

John Farrell explains why he isn't going to bring in defensive replacements for Hanley Ramirez

Rob Bradford
April 22, 2015 - 4:02 pm

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Red Sox were ahead by a run heading into the home half of the eighth inning. Hanley Ramirez had just made the first out when batting for the Red Sox earlier in the frame. Yet there Ramirez was, still playing left field. Red Sox manager John Farrell wasn't blind to the fact that he was heading into the final two innings with a left fielder still trying to find his way (and confidence). Other options to play defense at the spot included Brock Holt, Allen Craig or Daniel Nava, all of whom are currently head and shoulders better in the outfield then the inexperienced Ramirez. But the former shortstop remained, ultimately only having to track down a single in the left field corner to lead off the ninth inning in what finished as a 1-0 Red Sox win. Wednesday, Farrell explained to WEEI.com why he kept Ramirez out there, and why that will probably be the case for the time being in similar situations. "Part of it is he's in a new position. I want to show him the confidence to bring him along, and I haven't sat down and talked with him prior to and said this is what I'm going to do," Farrell explained. "I feel like his athleticism allows him to be an average left fielder right now. So you might say why risk the outcome of the game? I think the benefit of not taking him out far outweighs, at least at this point and time, taking him out because of his continued growth and us showing faith in him in left field." Farrell hadn't talked to Ramirez following the game in regards to the show of faith, and didn't know if the prospect of replacing him even entered the outfielder's mind. But is irrefutable that the subject would have gained steam if a move was made. "I do know this -- had the move been made, it clearly enters his mind at that point," the manager explained. "He's then saying, 'Does he have confidence in me playing the position?' We're in a transition period. Opportunity has to be given for a guy to either grow or to determine we make the move. "So in certain situations you're taking a longer view instead of just the ninth inning tonight." Another part of the equation that has to be factored in is the kind of player we're talking about. In this case, keeping the middle of the order hitter in the game, while having his psyche remain intact, would be a priority. Farrell has implemented defensive replacements before early in the season, using Rajai Davis to come on late in games to roam the outfield. But the difference was that replacing Eric Thames is a whole lot different than taking out Ramirez. "Opportunity has to be provided first, with trust shown and trust built," Farrell said. "There has to be the ability to have that conversation more in ernest and give a head's up that this might be coming. I'll also say this: in a one-run game if we make the replacement and we give up the run, I've lost his bat. It's a little bit different with a middle of the order bat. It's different when you're talking about a core offensive player."