Life without Aramis Ramirez

It’s been a tough week for sluggers named Ramirez. Of course Manny’s undoing was of his own making.  But all-star Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez having dislocated his left shoulder in last night’s game is a tremendous blow to this team.

Aramis Ramirez readyThere was a lot of talk as spring training broke of having no legitimate backup for A-Ram who has proven year after year that he will be injured a few weeks every season. The Cubs have productive but fragile starters at third, left and right fields. Just 29 games into this season, Ramirez and Milton Bradley have missed significant time and Derrek Lee‘s bad neck and slow start which doesn’t help.  

Cubs GM Jim Hendry has been unwilling or unable to land a suitable backup for third base. Now losing Ramirez for 4-6 weeks at a minimum – if today’s MRI shows a break, he could be down for months – leaves Hendry with a huge void in his batting order and defensively at the hot corner.

A quick check at MLBtraderumors.com shows there are plenty of unsigned free agents, but no third basemen. So where will Hendry get a third basebman for the remainder of the year? Maybe Mark DeRosa is available??  Naw, too expensive.

Jim HendryHow about Aubrey Huff, would he be a good fit? The Orioles have been willing trade partners since Andy MacPhail moved to Baltimore. Huff had a monster season at the plate last year and has always been a pretty respectable hitter. This year he’s playing first base in Baltimore but has played plenty of third base in his career, including 33 games for the Orioles last year. I don’t know what MacPhail will want for Huff, but I’m sure some young (aka cheap) pitching would be part of any package.

In any scenario, replacing the cleanup hitter on a team as deep as the Cubs will be a very tough thing to do. I’m sure Lou will get pestered about moving Soriano down in the order again. The truth is Lou has the pieces to move around in the batting order. What Lou is without is someone who can play third base every day. Hendry has left the team without a backup, and that is something he will have to address immediately.

The loss of Aramis Ramirez leaves a big hole to fill

The loss of Aramis Ramirez leaves a big hole to fill

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    May 9, 2009  Tags: , , , , , , ,   Posted in: Hot Stove, Jim Hendry, lineup, observations, players, roster

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