Red Sox first baseman/DH Hanley Ramirez underwent left shoulder surgery on Monday morning, as Ramirez himself reported on Twitter. While the specifics of the procedure are unknown, it was relatively minor and was performed in order to fix a nagging issue, per Robert Murray of FanRag Sports.
Ramirez, 33, had somewhat of an up-and-down 2017 season. He slashed a respectable .242/.320/.429 with 23 homers over 553 plate appearances, but his production dropped off rather substantially after the All-Star break, as he hit .219/.283/.411 in 244 second-half PAs. Ramirez, who has spent time at shortstop, third base, left field, and first base over the course of his 13-year career, was limited to just 18 games in the field (17 starts) this season, all of which came at first.
The three-time All-Star was inconsistent enough down the stretch that manager John Farrell kept him out of the starting lineup for the first game of Boston’s NLDS series with the Astros, though he quickly got back in the mix when DH Eduardo Nunez went down with a right knee injury. Ramirez took over for Nunez in that game and started the remaining three games of the series, finishing his postseason with an insane .571/.600/.714 slash line over 15 plate appearances.
Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland is a free agent this offseason, and while 24-year-old Sam Travis could be an in-house replacement at that position, it’s certainly possible that Ramirez—who is set to earn $22.75 million in 2018—could end up seeing more action at first next season, depending on how Boston decides to retool over the winter. With his shoulder now repaired, it should be easier for him to spend extended time in the field.