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It's early, but it's all been good for Dodgers and Hanley Ramirez

September 04, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Hanley Ramirez rounds the bases on his home run that tied the game Monday.
Hanley Ramirez rounds the bases on his home run that tied the game Monday. (Harry How / Getty Images )

It takes time to judge trades, right? Can’t get suckered in by early results, either good or bad. Can’t get too excited, too downcast.

Which is different than saying there can’t be early rave reviews.

Right now, the Dodgers’ acquisition of Hanley Ramirez is looking like one very sweet deal; like everything the Dodgers could have hoped it would be to this point, when they sent Nathan Eovaldi and minor leaguer right-hander Scott McGough to the Marlins for Ramirez and left-hander Randy Choate on July 25.

Ramirez has hit .283 since coming to the Dodgers, which is fine, but hardly tells of his impact. In his 38 games with the Dodgers, he has driven in 36 runs. He’s had 10 home runs, double any other Dodger during that span (Andre Ethier has five).

“It’s a hitting park here,” Ramirez said, which might be the first such conclusion regarding Dodger Stadium in its 51 seasons. “I see the ball good here and I’m just happy to be a part of this.”

Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez have added new life to the middle of the Dodgers’ order. Ramirez played third base for the Marlins, and started his career as a Dodger at the hot corner, but has played shortstop the past 30 games for the Dodgers, not that he gives that any credit for his play at the plate.

“Nah, just playing my game, playing hard and pulling for my teammates,” he said.

On the season overall, he has 24 home runs and 84 runs batted in, but he’s really enjoyed a power uptick since joining the Dodgers. He credits not only being reinvigorated by a pennant race, but a mechanical adjustment at the plate.

“I shortened my swing down,” he said. “It’s going through the zone now. Sometimes I was chasing too much and trying to hit everything they threw.”

His solo home run Monday was his ninth homer in his last 18 games. There was some concern about his work ethic and effort, but mostly he has played hard. I'm pretty sure that’s worthy of an early rave review.

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