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Is Hanley Ramirez more dangerous on the Dodgers' bench?

October 16, 2013|By Mike Hiserman
  • Is this a better place for Hanley Ramirez when Game 5 starts?
Is this a better place for Hanley Ramirez when Game 5 starts? (David J. Phillip / Associated…)

Hanley Ramirez is back in the Dodgers' starting lineup Wednesday, but here's an alternative thought:

Would he be a more dangerous hitter if he wasn't?

When he's in the lineup, the Cardinals know when he's coming and can plan accordingly.

There's also a matter of what he's tipping off as the game goes on. For example, he'll be up third in the first inning. There could be two outs and nobody on, and he would be using precious energy in an at-bat that probably would not result in a run even if he got a hit in that situation. His actions might also reveal how he's feeling and how he can be pitched to as the game goes on.

In the field, too, he is a liability. Nick Punto is not a better-than-average major league starting shortstop, but he is far better than Ramirez is now. Plus, Punto, who doubled in his only at-bat in Game 4, is batting .800 -- four for five -- against Wednesday's St. Louis starter, Joe Kelly.

The thought here is that Ramirez would be more of a threat if he were on the bench, waiting for one key at-bat, and the Cardinals guessing about how effective he might be when he takes a cut.

You know, special moments have happened before when injured Dodgers came off the bench with a game and a season on the line.

Remember Kirk Gibson?

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