You could be forgiven for guessing that the above title was referencing some sort of new age spa or organic grocery store. If you were more baseball minded, then your next assumption might be that it was a new double play combination destined to go down in history like the famous “Tinker to Evers to Chance” combo of the early 20th century. The latter possibility might seem to be all the more likely when I reveal that the individual involved are indeed Red Sox infielders Hanley “Happy” Ramirez, Dustin “Healthy” Pedroia, and Travis “Shaw” Shaw. Although in there present positions , double plays are not out of the question, that’s not why I bring them up, but rather to credit them with being important parts of the Sox early success.
Shaw, currently occupying third base after displacing the injured Pablo Sandoval, is building off a solid 2015, that saw him hit .270 in 36 games with 13 HRs and 36 RBIs. Through the first 33 games of 2016, Shaw, who is actually a first baseman by trade, is Boston’s leading hitter at .322, with 4 HRs and 23 RBIs. Although he has made 4 errors in 126 total chances, he has surprised many with his relatively easy transition to the “hot corner”. In case you forgot, I predicted in previous pieces that Shaw would eventually be the Sox long term first baseman, perhaps even this year should they not get off to a strong start. Although I stand by that prediction, the obvious early success of the Red Sox has definitely, and happily, messed with that time table.
HANLEY “HAPPY’ RAMIREZ:
One prediction of sorts that I made last spring was that as a life long infielder Ramirez would be more effective, and just plain happier, if moved to first base. I was glad to see that the Sox took my advice. Although there have times when he looked somewhat less then graceful, he has actually been “perfect” in the field, with no errors in his first 211 total chances. That’s not to say he’s never made the wrong throw or not gotten to a foul that he should have, but in general as made all the plays necessary, and as helped his infielders with his ability to scoop the occasional bad throw. He has also helped the MLB’s best offense, hitting a solid .301, with 4 HRs and 19 RBIs, as well as with some heads up base running. I have to guess that the biggest question surrounding the 32 year old Ramirez is just how many years he has left in him, and do they try to move him sooner rather then later to make run for younger blood. One way or another, I’m assuming he’s safe for the time being.
DUSTIN “HEALTHY’ PEDROIA:
Although his stats over the past four years have not looked all that bad, it is generally accepted in Red Sox Nation that it has been at least that long since he’s been totally healthy. Hampered by an assortment of hand and wrist issues, he hasn’t been able to be the complete “dirt dog” that has endeared him to his fans. That is, apparently, until now. Having played in 32 of the first 33 games, Pedroia has a BA of .307, with 5 HRs and 18 RBIs, and is back to being one of the most respected hitters out of the second spot in the game. His fielding continues to be solid, with only a single error in 138 total chances. You have to believe that his being full time at second base (he played in just 95 games last year) has got to be a steadying and reassuring presence for their young shortstop, Xander Bogaerts, who has All-Star potential.
Now if we can just get David Price back on track…..
- The “Roger That” Edition - February 28, 2017
- The “Nice Ring To It” Edition - February 3, 2017
- The “Shaken, Not Stirred” Edition - January 17, 2017
- The “Malcolms in the Middle” Edition - January 11, 2017
- A “Catching Up, Following Up, and Weighing In” Edition - December 31, 2016
- The “Cannon and Flowers” Edition - December 21, 2016
- The “Farm, for Sale” Edition - December 10, 2016
- The “Tebucky Jones Tribute” Edition - November 13, 2016
- The “World, Serious” Edition - November 1, 2016
- The “Easy Come, Easy Go” Edition - October 18, 2016