Jose Ramirez represented the Cleveland Indians in the All-Star Game
It wasn’t a home run, but Jose Ramirez made his presence known at the All-Star Game in Colorado as he represented the Cleveland Indians on the field. Entering in the sixth inning, Ramirez took his place in the batter’s box and gave the ball a ride to deep right-center. It was caught, but it created some excitement that prepped the audience for Mike Zunino’s home run later in the inning.
Ramirez went on to enter the field in the bottom half of the inning as well, catching a pop-up. In the end, it was only one inning of action for Ramirez and the lone at-bat after being replaced at third by Joey Wendle of the Tampa Bay Rays in the seventh inning. Ramirez ended the night 0-for-1, albeit a loud out, with a caught pop up as well. The American League ended up snagging the victory, their eighth straight, with a 5-2 final score.
For the Cleveland Indians, the club had three representatives at Coors Field in Colorado for the All-Star Game, but only Ramirez saw the field. Defending 2019 All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber was selected to the roster, but he didn’t see action due to being on the injured list. Terry Francona was also in the dugout for the American League, assisting Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash who played under Francona in Boston and coached with him in Cleveland.
Having just two players be All-Stars is rather low by the Tribe’s standards. The last time the club had that few was during the 2015 season when only Jason Kipnis represented Cleveland. The same could be said for 2014 when just Michael Brantley made the trip.
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Since then, the Cleveland Indians saw three All-Stars in 2016, five in 2017, six in 2018 and four in 2019. However, despite the recent high numbers, having a single player actually appear in the game isn’t something new for the Tribe. In fact, it was rather common once upon a time.
From 1969 until 1988, a span of 20 seasons, Cleveland had just a single All-Star in 13 different seasons. As for the other seven years, the Tribe had only a pair of All-Stars in all but one season when they had three in 1977.
Moving back to this season, Jose Ramirez earned his spot on the All-Star roster throughout the season, especially at the plate. While he wasn’t selected to the game as a starter, he’s put up numbers that have him among the best third basemen in all of baseball.
With a slash line of .260/.346/.524, Ramirez is second among third basemen for slugging percentage and seventh for on-base percentage. Combined, they give him the third best OPS by a third baseman so far this season.
Ramirez also leads all third basemen in runs scored this season with 60. Not only is that the best among his position, but it’s also tied for 11th in all of Major League Baseball. As for the rest of the stats among third basemen, Ramirez is tied for second in stolen bases, third for home runs, fifth for RBI, tied for sixth in doubles and tied for seventh in walks.
Ramirez has put together an impressive campaign thus far in the first half of the season and the hope is that will carry into the second half, when he’s proven to be a much better player in his career.
Over the course of his career, Ramirez’s career numbers jump in the second half. His slash line goes from .270/.347/.478 in the first half to .288/.356/.504 in the second, seeing all three improve. Given that the Tribe are getting back to full strength, a boost from Ramirez could be the icing on the cake.
Coming off a Silver Slugger season in 2020, this was Ramirez’s third All-Star appearance, being part of the roster in 2017 and 2018 as well. Hopefully, this is the beginning of the catapult to even better stats for Ramirez in the second half of the season.
Ramirez only played one inning with one at-bat, but being in the environment and atmosphere has to be something special for all the players involved. There’s a certain energy that surrounds the game and is contagious. Let’s see if he can bring it back with him to Cleveland.