Manny thoughts on a Tuesday morning
Watching the A’s go through their pre-batting practice work here at Phoenix Municipal Stadium and have Manny — as in Ramirez — thoughts running through my head.
First, maybe it’s a curse of National League West contenders to have high-paid left fielders with hamstring issues.
But on a more serious note, there seems to be a lot of chatter about how the D-backs need to pitch Ramirez differently this year. There’s been at least one story written about it and it’s gotten some air time on talk radio as well.
Ramirez was 20-for-32 against the D-backs after joining the Dodgers last year so clearly the D-backs clearly need a new plan.
I’m not buying it.
Let me throw a few other numbers at you: 2, 11 and 5. What are those? That’s the number of hits, at-bats and strikeouts Ramirez had against the D-backs in a three game series in June when he was with the Red Sox.
Yes, that’s right, Ramirez was 2-for-11 with zero extra-base hits and five strikeouts.
So apparently the D-backs do know how to pitch him. The difference between June and when they saw him in August and September? Manny was on fire. He hit .286 in June and .396 in his time with the Dodgers.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The Manny acquisition was the main reason the Dodgers beat the D-backs last year and the fact that they re-signed him makes the Dodgers the favorites this year.
The main thing I took out of Ramirez’s performance against the D-backs last year as a Dodger was that they caught him at the wrong time — keep in mind Brandon Webb and Dan Haren were both struggling at that time as well — not that they didn’t have a good plan against him. No team had an answer for Manny during the season’s final two months.