Red Sox

Farrell, Ramirez deserve credit for Hanley playing first base


Farrell, Ramirez deserve credit for Hanley playing first base

PHILADELPHIA — Whether Hanley Ramirez stood right up and said “Put me in, coach!” or Red Sox manager John Farrell had to do some coaxing, we may never know. But the fact that Ramirez was in the lineup Wednesday, at first base, in a National League stadium, was reason enough to give both men credit.

Mitch Moreland was unavailable to start at first base for at least the first of two games at Citizens Bank Park, after his left toe was hit by a pitch Tuesday night.

Farrell could have played Josh Rutledge at first base, but Ramirez wound up there — after Farrell said a day before that would not be the case. That proclamation came before Moreland’s foot was hurt, however.

How much Ramirez’s shoulders have restricted him from playing first base has been unclear all year. It’s clear he has a preference to be the designated hitter. He’s not hurt enough to go on the disabled list. He’s healthy enough to be the DH, yet the act of throwing is problematic to the point it can affect his hitting, Farrell has said.

There’s no question Ramirez is bothered by his shoulders, both of them. It’s just a question of to what extent. At some point, the Sox were going to need his bat in the lineup at first base, and on Wednesday, he was willing to do it. Whether that's because he changed his mind on his own; or Farrell (or someone else) helped convince Ramirez; to change his mind; or because he's simply feeling healthier is harder to tell.

There’s been only one other time Ramirez attempted first this season, May 10 in Milwaukee. He was pulled after three innings because his trapezius was hurting him. Hanging in a little longer Wednesday will be important.

Farrell said Ramirez has done some groundball work at first base. He may not attempt every throw that most first basemen would.

“The amount of throwing has been limited,” Farrell said. “We’ll see how the game unfolds. [Throwing is] something, if there’s a choice to be made… if there’s a ball that takes him to his backhand side and he has the ability to record an out at first base, those are all going to be in-game decisions.”

Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

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Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel returned to Fort Myers on Sunday after his 4-month-old daughter underwent successful heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Red Sox are confident he'll be ready for Opening Day.

“Oh, yeah. Plenty,” manager Alex Cora replied when asked if Kimbrel had time to get ready for the March 29 opener against the Rays in St. Petersburg. “With him it’s a different schedule, anyway. He’ll be ready.”

Kimbrel's daughter, Lydia Joy, was born with a heart defect. He left the team Feb. 28 to be with her and his family in Boston, but pitching coach Dana Levangie said Kimbrel was on a pitching program during that time.

“The most important thing is that the family is okay with [Kimbrel returning to the Sox],” Cora said. “If they’re okay with it, we’re okay with it.”

The Baseball Show Podcast: Should we be confident in the Red Sox rotation?

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The Baseball Show Podcast: Should we be confident in the Red Sox rotation?

0:21 - With less than two week before the beginning of the 2018 season, the Red Sox don’t have all of the answers for their rotation. Lou Merloni and Evan Drellich project their Opening Day rotation and discuss the lack of depth in it.

4:39 - Will Boston’s version of the ‘Killer B’s’ return in full force this season? Lou and Evan analyze the performances of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi.

10:07 - Buy or sell? John Farrell will find another managerial position this season; J.D. Martinez will have a better season than Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton; Dave Dombrowski has put the best possible team out there for 2018.