Have a Birthday, Jose Ramirez!

Jose Ramirez

Jose Ramirez Celebrates a Birthday

On Thursday, Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez celebrated a birthday. Ramirez turned 28 years old and is in the midst of his eighth big league season.

The slugger has been an important part of the Indians lineup and that was certainly the case on Thursday. He batted third in the starting lineup and went a combined four-for-five at the plate with two home runs, four RBI, and one strikeout. Both home runs came off of prized Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Casey Mize.

Ramirez’s first home run came off the bat at 101 miles per hour (MPH) and traveled 404 feet to right field. The other home run was Ramirez 13th of the season and came off the bat at 103 MPH. Following Thursday’s game, Ramirez is now batting .276/.366/.546 on the year over 48 games. In addition to the aforementioned 13 home runs, he has 32 RBI, 26 walks, 39 strikeouts, and 10 stolen bases over that sample.

Over the last seven games, Ramirez has really turned it up at the plate. Over that period spanning 28 at bats, he is hitting .429/.467/.929 with 12 hits, four home runs, six RBI, two walks, and three strikeouts.

Deep Dive into Splits on Jose Ramirez

One interesting factor behind Jose Ramirez is his splits at home inside the walls of Progressive Field compared to on the road. On the road, he has a .228/.345/.416 slash line this year over 26 games. In contrast, at home he is batting .304/.371/.608. Interestingly enough, the Indians slugger has 19 strikeouts at the road and at home. Talk about splitting your K’s evenly!

Additionally, the third baseman is much stronger against left-handers compared to right-handers. So far this season against lefties, Ramirez is batting .348/.434/.826 over 46 at-bats. Against right-handers, Ramirez has a cumulative slash line of .231/.329/.388. The sample size is vast (134 at-bats against righties), but he has a total of 31 strikeouts compared to seven strikeouts against left-handers.

Position Flexibility

Beyond those factors, another thing that makes Ramirez invaluable to the Indians is the idea that he can play multiple positions. To date, the Indians have not utilized him at second base, but he does possess the ability to play at that position on top of third base. Cleveland didn’t have him play second at all last year either. However, in 2018 he did play 16 games at second.

Moving forward, that could turn into an interesting dilemma for the Indians. Offseason signee Cesar Hernandez is poised to hit free agency after this year. Right now, the Indians number one overall prospect is third baseman, Nolan Jones. Jones didn’t get the normal development that he otherwise would have in the minors this year. Although, there is a good chance that he likely would have been called up to the big league club this month in a regular 162-game season.

Depending on what this offseason brings, the Indians could very well open next year with Ramirez at second base and Jones at the hot corner. Regardless, that still puts Cleveland in an advantageous position overall. That’s especially true when Ramirez is batting like he has over the last seven games.

Final Thoughts

Hitting two home runs on your birthday is something special to celebrate. In fact, it doesn’t happen all that often. Zack Meisel of The Athletic had more on that on Twitter.

Now, Ramirez is in the history books and this will be a night that he will remember for the rest of his life. Besides Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez is the next-best hitter in Cleveland’s lineup. At 28 years old, he is right in the midst of his peak, and there’s potential that he might get even better over the next few seasons.

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