Boston needed emergency infield help Tuesday night. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval exited the game after being hit on the foot by a pitch and shortstop Xander Bogaerts was already sidelined by a knee injury, so manager John Farrell asked shortstop-turned-left fielder Hanley Ramirez if he’d be willing to move back to the infield.
Ramirez said yes, at which point Farrell gave him the choice between shortstop and third base. Despite logging more than 9,000 innings at shortstop, including 115 starts there for the Dodgers last season, Ramirez picked third base because he didn’t want to make Bogaerts’ fill-in, super-utility man Brock Holt, move positions again:
Brock. He’s a good shortstop. He made a couple plays in the beginning of the game, so why do I want to move him to third when he’s been feeling good at short? So I said I’ll just go to third.
Ramirez does have some experience at third base, starting 97 career games there, but he hasn’t played the position regularly since 2012 with the Marlins. Holt was very appreciative of Ramirez’s gesture, telling Jimmy Toscano of CSNNE.com:
It’s huge. Especially a guy with his tenure and his stature, you know? He could have easily said, “No, I don’t want to do that,” but he did because we needed it. And I think that speaks volumes to the guys we have in this clubhouse and I think everyone’s rooting for each other and everyone is pulling for each other and everyone wants to win. So that showed it tonight.
Ramirez is also helping the Red Sox win by hitting .281 with three homers and a .914 OPS through seven games of a four-year, $88 million contract.