Jun. 15, 2018
Quick Pitch: Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, and Juan Soto
From Hanley Ramirez remaining unsigned after his release from the Boston Red Sox, Jose Reyes potentially being forced to retire by the New York Mets, and the emergence of prospect Juan Soto with the Washington Nationals the MLB world has been buzzing as of late. Today on MTV's Hot Takes, we take a quick look at three of the biggest stories in the world of baseball for the past week or so.
Hello? Hanley?: Hanley Ramirez Remains a Free Agent
After a hot start that saw him batting .330 by the end of April, Hanley Ramirez's numbers slowly came back down to earth in the month of May and he began to go cold. In May, Ramirez was batting .163 with three home runs and 12 RBIs, bringing his season numbers to an average of .254 with six home runs and 29 RBIs. But after 44 games with the Boston Red Sox this season, Ramirez was designated for assignment in order to clear up a roster spot for second baseman Dustin Pedroia who was being activated from the disabled list. While the Sox are on the hook for $15.25 million of Ramirez's salary, the move avoided the $22 million salary they would of had to give Hanley in 2019. In the days following his release, there were reports that multiple teams were interested in signing Ramirez for his services.
However, the 34-year-old remains unsigned by any team as we head towards the middle of June. Ramirez's services should definitely be considered by teams in need of a veteran bat or help in the field. Ramirez has experience at third base, shortstop, first base, and the outfield which makes him a good player to fill-in on a team that is dealing with injuries. While currently unsigned, do not anticipate on that lasting the whole season, especially as we move further into the dog days of summer. Teams dealing with injuries or in contention for the playoffs that are looking for a veteran bat in the lineup could defintely jump at the idea of signing him as the season wears on.
Jose Reyes For Retirement?
Riddled by the injury bug for a large portion of the season, the New York Mets drama continued a few days ago when it was reported that they wanted infielder Jose Reyes to retire instead of releasing him. Apparently not everyone was made aware of this as Mickey Callaway said the report was "news to him" according to the New York Post. In 74 at-bats this year, Reyes is hitting .149 with one home run and three RBIs for the Mets, he has started just 13 games this season. The other day, GM Sandy Alderson said, "With respect to Jose, I'm very cognizant of his history with the Mets. On the other hand, I can assure you that the decision on Jose or any other player is gonna be on the merits. ... we are committed to putting the best team we can on the field, and these personnel decisions will be made based on the merits."
While it is clear at some point this year we may see the end of the infielder's career in the Big Apple, right now just would not make sense for the Mets given the rash of injuries they have dealt with to their infielders. Additionally, the players within the farm system that would have the potential to replace him as well have been dealing with injuries which makes moving Reyes out even more difficult. Perhaps as the New York Mets see their injuries begin to heal and players get back on the field, we see a move with Reyes. But for now it seems like the team will have to Reyes continue to ride the pine and fill-in occasionally for other players.
Juan Soto Swinging a Hot Bat
Since his first Major League start on May 21st, Juan Soto as been nothing short of impressive for the Washington Nationals in his time on the team. The 19-year-old smashed a home run on the first pitch he saw in his first at-bat and has not looked back since. Headed into last night's game, Soto was batting .328 with three home runs and eight RBIs in 61 at-bats to start off his Major League career. He then proceeded to hit two home runs, one off Sonny Gray and another of Chasen Shreve to help power the Nationals to a 5-4 victory over the Yankees. The two home runs for Soto put him in the history books as the fifth-youngest player to record a multi-home run and the youngest since Andruw Jones did it for the Braves back in 1996.
After going 2-for-3 last night with two home runs and 3 RBIs, Soto is batting .344 with five home runs and 11 RBIs in just 19 starts this season. It is safe to say Soto is living up to expectation so far as one of the top prospects in the MLB for the season. He is quickly making a name for himself at this level and looks like the leftfielder of the future for the Nationals at the moment. Time will tell if he can continue to dazzle at the plate, especially once he is forced to make adjustments after pitchers get the book on him. But for now, the show goes on for Soto and his magical start.
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