Weekly Wroundtable: What to Do With Cleveland Indians’ Jose Ramirez

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Ramirez Deserves a Longer Chance

May 3, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians shortstop Jose Ramirez (11) hits a sacrifice bunt during the eighth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Merritt Rohlfing: It has recently come to my attention, and by that I mean earlier in this discussion, that Jose Ramirez is still only 22 years old. Not to say I didn’t know that, my mind just chose to neglect that information. For that reason alone, it’s entirely to early to ship him to Columbus. First, who is going to play short every day? Aviles? That’s madness. And if the front office is to be believed, Saint Francisco of Assists isn’t ready for the big time yet. Ramirez’s bat has been terrible, there’s no way around it. Btu so has everyone else outside of Brantley, Kipnis for the last three weeks, and Santana. It’s an easy decision to make because the team and the fans want a scapegoat, some sort of action to make it seem like the Tribe is doing something about this moribund start. The early miscues will shake out, and as bad as it sounds, he’s the team’s best defender on the infield. Without him, I can’t begin to imagine the mess we would be looking at. The metrics don’t quite show positivity, but he’s been at least the best one out there. Which is…something. So no, it’s not time, this is why Francona was brought in – to get guys out of funks and make them play loose. JRam has looked real tight and just needs the calming Tito Touch. if this is still all happening in July, then maybe. But get back to me then.

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Katrina Putnam: No, there’s no reason to give up on Ramirez or even send him to Columbus at this point. First of all, Lindor should not be called up until he’s ready. He’s not exactly tearing it up in Triple-A, batting .261/.335/.373 after an extremely slow start. More importantly, Lindor is one of the top ten prospects in baseball, and there are people who want to make major moves with him in relation to a slow start from someone else? That’s a reaction that will only hurt the team long-term. Call him up when he’s ready, because he’s too important to the Indians’ future to begin his career due to a desperation move meant to satisfy impatient fans. Secondly, Ramirez has shows signs of heating up, after being moved to the second spot in the lineup. Maybe he just needs a little longer to prove he belongs here. One thing I would do? After Lindor is finally called up, send Ramirez for a short stint in Columbus to get some reps in the outfield. The infield will be blocked, and the bench is full of utility players who can hit home runs, so Ramirez needs to make himself more valuable. The more positions he can play, the more useful he’ll be to the team — but don’t do it yet, when it will force the team’s hand on Lindor. For now, let Ramirez play it out and try to recover from his disappointing start to the season.

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Decided who should replace Ramirez would be an important factor in deciding whether to send him down…

Next: Who Would Replace Ramirez?