The injury prone right-handed shortstop has a number of ways his future can pan out with either the team around him or another team (preferably in the AL so he doesn’t hurt us.)
The Los Angeles Dodgers, at the moment, use the Dominican as a short stop, after turning him out from the third base position when Juan Uribe came back from injury 2 years ago. But now they have a dilemma, Ramirez’ contract is coming to an end and also Hanley is not a good fielder, everyone knows that and he has cost the Dodgers a number of runs this year with his miscommunication and basic mistakes that they don’t need in the big leagues. So two questions remain, what can they do with him and what will they do?
In what could be his last year with the team as his contract runs out the Dodgers need to make a decision quickly and get their moneys worth if they decide to ship him off to another city.
Hanley’s hitting gets effected by his fielding, when he is in a good run he can hit really well but when he doesn’t, like this year, his hitting doesn’t come out to what he or the team needs it to be. He is only hitting .274 which is an “only” because last year the man hit .345 with an additional 9 home runs and 9 RBI’s in his extra 5 games.
All of the signs point to Hanley as an excellent DH, and where does the manager Don Mattingly pay him when they play against an American League club? Designated Hitter. Right now, for example, against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park, Ramirez is playing DH for the second game in a row and the defensive replacements in the team are easily coping with the absence of hum in the infield. This is the first decision for the Dodgers to make; do they let Hanley go to an AL club via a trade or with Free Agency?
The Dodgers also have enough players to fill the shortstop position too as they are doing in the 7th innings and later when ahead with Donnie pulling Hanley and replacing him with the much more defensively sound Erisbel Arruebarrena, Carlos Triunfel, Justin Turner and Miguel Rojas. Any of these could take up the every day shortstop for their defense but one thing is a blaring omission, hitting.
Even though his numbers are down and he can’t get the 150 odd games a year, Hanley can still swing the bat, he knows how to clutch and get hits when they’re needed. .274 is not a bad average anyway and it’ll get better once he gets a few games under his belt and the team starts wining, the pressure will lift off his shoulders and we will see the real Hanley.
So the real question is does his offence out weigh the defense? And in my opinion it certainly does for this man, he is one of the best players in baseball and he will be a star for a couple more years to come.