This is a tricky one, because a lot has happened in the last couple of days.
What was a Battle Royale (think Pulp Fiction) has suddenly become a Media Noche (think Memories of Underdevelopment). Alexei Ramirez is suddenly catapulted into the White Sox starting job because yesterday the team waived Juan Uribe and today Danny Richar discovered a stress fracture in his ribs. Or is he?
Just so you know, I hadn’t projected (in Patton$onDisk08) Ramirez yet because absent a role and absent context it’s really hard to do any work at all. He’s been a very good player in Cuba and could be a major leaguer, or not. There’s really no way we can know with anything but the certainty that comes from saying that he’s a good athlete, he can hit but his defensive rep is weak, and we’ll see.
I had Richar down for 400 at bats, with three homers and three steals. He was a placeholder, at best, if he ended up getting that playing time. The reason he might have…
Is because Juan Uribe, who can hit a little, also can’t resist swinging. So he makes plenty of outs while occasionally whacking the ball. I had him down for 375 at bats, too many for the two of them combined, but again, each probably with fewer than one of them would have. If one hadn’t been released and the other injured.
So what do we do with Alexei Ramirez? Let’s look at some depth charts.
Rotowire.com has Ramirez as the White Sox starting 2B, with Pablo Ozuna as the backup. Danny Richar? Is out.
BaseballHQ.com gives Ramirez 40 percent of the playing time, with Richar and Uribe splitting the other 60 percent.
Over at sandlotshrink.com they like Richar, but note his injury, backed up by Ramirez.
ESPN.com has Uribe down as the starter, followed by Richar and Ozuna (they have Ramirez as the backup at shortstop behind Orlando Cabrera and Juan Uribe).
The usual quirky Rototimes.com has Uribe as the starter, Richar as the sub and Ramirez as the sub sub.
Rotoworld.com has Danny Richar alone at second base, with Ramirez listed as the third string center fielder.
Yahoo.com lists Uribe, then Ramirez.
The comprehensive Sportsline.com goes with Uribe, then Ramirez, then Richar, then Ozuna, then out of left field, literally, Jason Bourgeois.
So, how to sum it up? The Richar injury gets the obvious guy to fail out of the way. But does it mean the job is Ramirez’s? Indications are that the waivers on Uribe are revocable, so let’s leave the last word to Ozzie Guillen, who deserves it:
“Why have we not named Uribe the second baseman? I mean, he’s a great spring-training player, then all of a sudden spring training is over and we see a different player. If the season starts tomorrow, who pitches for Cleveland? Sabathia? Well, then the starting second baseman will be Pablo Ozuna. The next day? We’ll see.”
I’ve cut Richar’s projected time in half, left Uribe the same, and given a slight bump to Ozuna, who apparently will play against lefties. Alexei Ramirez? I’m leaving him blank. He may well earn a role this summer, probably as a utility player, but there seem to be too many bodies ahead of him right now to project him for playing time.
If he’s on the White Sox on opening day he’ll be worth a bid in the end game, unless he emerges from the scrum with the job. Then bump him to $6.