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Boston’s Dombrowski Finally Chimes In On Shocking Release Of Hanley Ramirez

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Red Sox Nation had to scrape its collective jaw off the floor after the team made a shocking announcement last Friday.  With franchise cornerstone Dustin Pedroia set to come off the DL and make his season debut, the team designated fan favorite DH/1B Hanley Ramirez for assignment.

Fans and media alike believed that the overwhelming favorite to be the odd man out was C/LF Blake Swihart. Boston’s former top prospect has ran into a modicum of injuries since his debut in 2015 and has become nothing close to what the team was hoping for. With the 26-year-old out of options on his contract, it seemed to be a sure thing, especially given that Swihart’s agent requested a trade due to his client’s considerable lack of playing time. But, Red Sox fans should know more than anyone else that nothing is for sure in baseball. On Friday, Boston did indeed announce the designation of a player, but, in a stunning twist, the unlucky sap was Ramirez.

After remaining fairly quiet about it over the holiday weekend, Red Sox PBO Dave Dombrowski broke his silence yesterday in an interview with New England Sports Network’s Tom Carron. According to Dombrowski, manager Alex Cora was the architect of the decision, a puzzling revelation given that Cora named Ramirez Boston’s Opening Day first baseman.

Click here to watch the full clip from NESN.

The move is shock and a half for multiple reasons. Ramirez had been enigmatic in 2018 to that point, hitting .330 in April but just .163, albeit with 29 RBI. May was not good to the team’s once-top prospect, but there appeared to be no reason to panic. Ramirez’ contract is still owned by the Red Sox and the team has until Friday to either release or deal him.

To Hanley’s credit, he handled the situation very well and thanked Boston fans in a classy farewell tweet.

His departure breaks the logjam that the team created when Mitch Moreland was resigned this offseason. Moreland had been very solid off the bench and his hot hitting gradually won Cora over. Speaking both impartially and as a fan of the Sox at the same time, my issue this; Moreland is without question a better defensive first baseman than Hanley, but his offense is very inconsistent and he has never proved himself to be a guy who can carry a team. When healthy, Ramirez is just that. A shoulder injury derailed him last season after a career year in 2016, and while that was certainly frustrating, I’m very shocked that the team decided to just cut its losses out of nowhere.

Blake Swihart, on the other hand, I think is safe to be declared a lost cause at this point. I have nothing against him, but Boston doesn’t need his catching with the platoon of Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon, and his offense has been nowhere near good enough to suggest he could be moved to a different position. The only reason Boston transitioned him to an outfielder in the first place was a 2016 injury to Brock Holt that kept him out for more than half the year. I don’t see him factoring into the team’s long term plans at all.

As for Hanley, I hope he goes somewhere and has success. The vindictive part of me really hopes that the move will come back and bite Boston on the rear, but I’d like more to see him go and prove his worth elsewhere. As alluded to earlier, the team has yet to say sayonara and it will be interesting to see what it attempts to do to salvage the situation. Even at 34, Ramirez is too good a player to be allowed to walk for free, Boston should at least attempt to deal him.

American League

Red Sox Designate Eduardo Nunez For Assignment

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Eduardo Nunez

The Boston Red Sox have designated infielder Eduardo Nunez for assignment, according to a team announcement on Monday.

Boston also optioned right hander Hector Velazquez to Triple A Pawtucket.

In corresponding moves, the Red Sox have called up right hander Ryan Weber and first basemen/outfielder Sam Travis from Triple A.

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American League

Red Sox Place Nathan Eovaldi On 10-Day IL

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The Boston Red Sox have placed starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi on the 10-day injured list due to a loose body in his elbow, according to MassLive.com’s Crhsi Cotillo.

In a corresponding move, left hander Bobby Poyner will take Eovaldi’s spot on the roster and the move is retroactive to April 18th.

The struggling Red Sox will have to move forward without Eovaldi, who missed around 2 months last season following arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose body, for the time being.

Eovaldi has started 4 games for Boston this season, going 0-0 and posting a 6.00 ERA in that span.

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American League

Red Sox Call Up Top Prospect Chavis

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Top Red Sox prospect Michael Chavis was recalled for the first time on Friday.

With two infielders being placed on the DL and desperate for any kind of spark they can get, the Boston Red Sox called up their top prospect Michael Chavis (MLB no. 75) from Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday.

Dustin Pedroia and Eduardo Nunez were both placed on the disabled list this week with knee and back injuries, respectively. And with super utility man Brock Holt out as well with an eye injury, Boston’s infield has become quite depleted in a hurry. Infielder Tzu-Wei Lin was recalled as well as the stumbling Red Sox open up a three game set in Tampa with a Good Friday matchup.

Boston hasn’t yet announced if Chavis will be in the lineup tonight, but the team is evidently hoping that the presence of the 23-year-old can provide some kind of a spark. Boston has struggled considerably so far in the young season and is coming off consecutive embarrassing losses to arch-rival New York. At 6-13, the defending World Series champs are dead last in the AL East.

Chavis, on the other hand, has risen through Boston’s minor league system quickly despite a setback last season. A PED suspension cost him half of 2018 after he was busted for Turinabol, an anabolic-androgenic steroid. He denied knowingly taking any banned substance but played well enough after his return to be promoted from Double-A to Triple-A.

Can Chavis provide a boost for the struggling Sox and help them shake off their World Series hangover?

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