As the Boston Red Sox turn their attention toward next season, two of their members went under the knife on Tuesday, with different recovery timetables.
A week after their disappointing loss to the Houston Astros in the ALDS, the Boston Red Sox are still licking their wounds – some more literally than others. The team announced two of its players underwent surgeries on Tuesday.
Left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez had a right knee procedure, while first baseman and designated hitter Hanley Ramirez underwent a left shoulder arthroscopy and debridement, according to Scott Lauber of ESPN.com. Both were treated by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
Rodriguez’s knee has been a persistent issue for the 24-year-old, who spent time on the disabled list this year because of it. He was limited to 25 appearances (24 of them starts) in which he posted a 4.19 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 3.00 K/BB ratio in 137.1 innings.
Although the young southpaw’s numbers don’t jump off the page, his 3.97 FIP tells a better story and is markedly better than the 4.71 ERA and 4.43 FIP he managed in 2016. Nevertheless, Rodriguez has yet to convincingly turn the corner as a big league hurler, as the Red Sox expect him to.
Unfortunately, Rodriguez’s surgery – a reconstruction of the patellofemoral tendon – will reportedly sideline him for about six months, meaning he won’t be able to start next season on time. He’ll need to bounce back while playing catch up, but at his young age, he still has plenty of time on his side.
As for Ramirez, the veteran expects to remain on schedule for next spring. He posted a message on Twitter updating fans on his status:
More from Call to the Pen
- Philadelphia Phillies, ready for a stretch run, bomb St. Louis Cardinals
- Philadelphia Phillies: The 4 players on the franchise’s Mount Rushmore
- Boston Red Sox fans should be upset over Mookie Betts’ comment
- Analyzing the Boston Red Sox trade for Dave Henderson and Spike Owen
- 2023 MLB postseason likely to have a strange look without Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals
The 33-year-old is coming off a lackluster year at the plate, as he slashed .242/.320/.429 with 23 home runs and 62 RBI in 133 games as Boston’s primary DH. That’s a far cry from last season’s strong showing, in which he hit .286/.361/.505 with 30 homers and 111 RBI.
Ramirez was supposed to take on more of David Ortiz‘s role this year, and it didn’t exactly come to fruition, at least as far as the offensive production was concerned. He has now generated an OPS+ under 100 in two of his three seasons in Boston.
The 13-year slugger is under contract for next season at $22.75 million, and he has a 2019 option for $22 million that vests if he logs 1,050 plate appearances between 2017 and 2018, per Spotrac. Having stepped to the dish 553 times this year, Ramirez needs 497 PAs next season, a threshold he seems likely to cross barring injury or a significant change in his playing time.
It’s safe to say the Sox aren’t exactly thrilled about having an aging Hanley Ramirez on the books for potentially two more years at such a high salary, especially with the health concerns. They’ll have to hope he can rebound and come closer to the 2016 version of himself rather than this year’s model.
With their manager’s seat now vacant, the Red Sox have many questions to answer this offseason. The recovery of Rodriguez and Ramirez will be just two of the storylines to monitor.