The experiment lasted 92 games and now it’s finally — some would say mercifully — over. Hanley Ramirez will not be playing the outfield again for the Red Sox this season.
“I do not,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said on Tuesday when asked if he could foresee Ramirez returning to left field this season.
A career shortstop, Ramirez was signed to a four-year, $88 million contract by former general manager Ben Cherington and moved to left field. Advanced defensive statistics show he has been the worst outfielder in baseball, responsible for 19 runs scoring.
Ramirez also has struggled offensively, hitting .249 with a .717 OPS. He missed his fifth consecutive game Tuesday because of a sore right shoulder. He has not played in 13 of the last 21 games.
If Ramirez does play again this season, it would be at first base or possibly as the designated hitter. He has been working out at first base for a week. Lovullo believes that Ramirez is making enough progress to merit playing the position.
Lovullo isn’t sure Ramirez will return, saying only he is “hopeful” that will be the case.
“Everything is showing positive signs,” Lovullo said. “He will continue to condition behind the scenes . . . There’s a chance he could play first base before the year is over. Is that a lock? His health will determine that.”
Ramirez has not swung a bat since Aug. 26, the last game he played.
Since being hired, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has indicated a preference to see Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Rusney Castillo in the outfield.
Lovullo met with Betts, Bradley, and Castillo and discussed position changes.
Betts, who has played only center field this season, will get work in right field and left field. Castillo will start to get work in left, a position he has not played before. Bradley will get more games in center field.
“We are going to mix and match those moving parts,” Lovullo said.
The idea is to find the right combination for next season. Dombrowski has said that Bradley is an “outstanding” center fielder in his mind.
“We haven’t clearly defined who’s playing where,” Lovullo said. “Once we make that decision we’re going to leave those guys there.”
Part of the decision is likely determining where Betts fits best, right field or left field.
Pedroia on the run
Dustin Pedroia ran the bases before the game. “We had to pull back a little bit. He wanted to go really hard and aggressively,” Lovullo said. Pedroia, who is on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, is on track to be activated in 9-10 days . . . Knuckleballer Steven Wright, on the disabled list with a concussion, has yet to start throwing off the mound. He is still feeling some symptoms and could run out of time to return this season. “It’s getting to that point,” he said. “It’s a question of how much I can do. It’s been slow.” . . . Righthander Matt Barnes was at Fenway to have a sore elbow checked. He has not pitched since Aug. 22. Lovullo said it was uncertain if Barnes would be called up.
Travis to Fall League
The Sox assigned six prospects to Scottsdale of the Arizona Fall League with two more spots remaining to be filled.
The list is headlined by first baseman Sam Travis, a second-round pick in 2014. The 22-year-old has split the season with Single A Salem and Double A Portland, hitting .304 with an .821 OPS. He has nine home runs and 75 RBIs in 127 games.
Righthander Aaron Wilkerson is intriguing. The 26-year was signed out of an independent league before the season and has gone 10-3 with a 3.22 ERA in 27 games, 18 as a starter. He started in Single A Greenville and progressed to Salem and then Portland.
Righthanded relievers Kyle Martin (Portland) and Chandler Shepherd (Salem) also were selected. One more pitching spot is open.
Portland second baseman Carlos Asuaje and shortstop Tzu-Wei Lin will join Travis on the infield. Lin is a taxi squad player, available only two days a week. The Sox will add another infielder.
The AFL starts Oct. 13 and runs through Nov. 19.
Reigning Masters and US Open champion Jordan Spieth threw out the first pitch to Joe Kelly. The Deutsche Bank Championship starts on Friday at TPC Boston in Norton.
Rickie Fowler, who is ranked ninth in the world, was in a Red Sox uniform for batting practice. He shagged flies and took some swings. Fowler and Kelly are good friends.
The Yankees will not have Mark Teixeira for at least two weeks. He had further testing on his bruised left leg in New York and is now on crutches. Manager Joe Girardi said it was a possibility Teixeira would not play again this season . . . September is childhood cancer awareness month. The Sox painted a yellow ribbon behind home plate and before the game a group of children, friends, and family formed a ribbon in center field. The game was paused before the fourth inning for fans, players, and the umpires to hold signs honoring children fighting cancer. Jordan Leandre threw out the first pitch. Leandre, 15, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma when he was 2 and spent three years in a full body cast, the result of multiple surgeries. Jordan recovered to run the bases at Fenway Park in 2007 and is now a high school player . . . Greenville second baseman Yoan Moncada was named to the South Atlantic League postseason all-star team. He is hitting .287 with an .847 OPS and 45 stolen bases in 48 attempts. The Red Sox spent $63 million on Moncada in March, half on his bonus and half as a penalty for exceeding international signing limits . . . Ellis Hall from Tower of Power and Shea Rose of the Berklee College of Music performed one of the best national anthems of the season.
Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.