The Dodgers season was slowly slipping away in the early portion of the season as injuries and an inconsistent bullpen were the reason they were in last place for over a month.
Fortunes changed for the team when Hanley Ramirez came back from his second significant injury as his bat in the middle of the Dodgers lineup has changed everything. Ramirez is hitting .386 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs and recently had a 19-game hitting streak snapped.
Under his current contract, Ramirez is scheduled to become a free agent after next season, but told Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times he doesn’t want to leave LA:
“Definitely, because I want to stay here,” Ramirez said. “I want to stay here forever. Hopefully, I could stay here the rest of my career, but I can’t control that.”
Acquired from the Marlins for righty Nate Eovaldi, Ramirez has had a re-birth in LA after a couple dismal seasons with the Marlins. Many forget that he won the NL batting title in 2009 and it looks like Yasiel Puig has energized Ramirez to a point where he’s having more fun than ever.
At 47-47 at the All-Star break, the Dodgers are just 2.5 games behind first place Arizona as they resume play Friday in Washington D.C.
If Ramirez continues his hot hitting together with Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford getting healthy, the Dodgers lineup would be scary deep. It’s good to hear Hanley enjoying his time in LA and it’s been evident since day one that he wanted to be with the team for a long time.