What to do with Rick Porcello, Hanley Ramirez? Dave Dombrowski isn't quite sure

Rob Bradford
August 19, 2015 - 5:04 pm

While Dave Dombrowski offered mostly broad sweeping statements when it came to defining how he viewed the his new organization, the Red Sox, he did elaborate a bit when it came to a couple of players who have defined the team's struggles this season -- Rick Porcello and Hanley Ramirez. Porcello was obviously a viable topic for Dombrowski following his introductory press conference considering the new president of baseball operations traded the pitcher to the Red Sox in the offseason. Now that the 26-year-old is in the midst of his worst season as a big leaguer, with a four-year, $82.5 million extension ready to kick in next season, the former Detroit executive's insight was interesting "I think Rick Porcello has the ability to be a very solid major league pitcher," Dombrowski said Wednesday afternoon. "He's a young pitcher that's been through a lot. He was always a tough competitor. I really don't know what's happened to him this year, because I haven't seen him pitch very often. I'm surprised he hasn't done better. I'm not really sure why. I'll be very interested to find out what people's observations are. "When we traded him, we didn't think we were in a position to sign him longterm. We liked him, thought he'd be a real solid guy, but we probably weren't going to pay him the terms that would be necessary to have him stay. We always thought he'd be a good big league pitcher and still do. I'm very surprised that he hasn't been better, and I'm not sure why. I'll be anxious to find out." Then there was Ramirez. The mystery of where the left fielder might end up in 2016 evidently will still take some time to solve. "Hanley can swing the bat," Dombrowski said. "I know his numbers aren't as good this year as they have been, he's been hurt a little, but he can hit. What's his best position? I'm not sure at this point. I haven't seen him play left field very much. "The one thing you have to be careful about, and I've had some experiences with even good athletes: You just can't assume that they can play a new position. I've seen it not work at times. I can't speak for him specifically, but it was interesting this winter time, I work out usually in the morning in the winter time and run the treadmill early at the ballpark. I get there before the offices open. And I watch that Major League Baseball Network show religiously. "And they had those commentators up there, statistical guys, and non-statistical guys. And they had the No. 1 ranked left fielder going into 2015 as Hanley Ramirez, collectively. But I remember at the time saying, how can people make that statement, since they don't know if he can play left field or not. So it's just interesting that a lot of other people there were making that summation that he can play left field." Dombrowski did fall in line with the Red Sox current strategy of not broaching a position change for Ramirez while the 2015 regular season is going on. "That would be tough to do at this time of the year," he said. "It's hard to just move a guy to a different position at this time of year. That takes a while to do. Guys can get hurt. Behind the scenes, I don't know that they've been working out any guys at any other positions. I don't even know that until I sit down and talk to them."