Red Sox

Red Sox

NEW YORK -- Where did Hanley Ramirez's bat go?

When it comes to Ramirez, most of the focus has been on the poor play in the outfield -- and the attendant mental lapses in the field and on the bases.
      
Beyond that, there's the nagging question of what do the Red Sox do with Ramirez from 2016-2018, a period that has them committed to about $66 million. Should he play first base? Moved to DH after David Ortiz retires?
      
But that's somehow obscured the fact that Ramirez has done virtually nothing at the plate since the All-Star break. In the 17 games since the second half of the season began, Ramirez is hitting just .212 with no homers and five RBI.
      
He has just two extra-base hits (both doubles) in 66 at-bats since the second-half began with a slash line of .212/.232/.242.
      
Ramirez's drop-off comes at a time when David Ortiz is suddenly swinging a hot bat in front of him, so it's not as if Ramirez has no support in the lineup.
      
He's just stopped producing, almost altogether. He's not getting on base (two walks in 17 games); he's not driving the ball; and he's not knocking in teammates.
      
When Ramirez was pounding the ball in April, and again in June after his shoulder healed from an early May collision with a wall, Ramirez's defensive lapses and sometimes indifference to his play in the field could at least be balanced with what he contributed at the plate.
      
Now? Even that has disappeared, making Ramirez an expensive, under-performing albatross in the lineup -- at least for now.