Good lord. Spring training and all that, and to be fair, Ramirez honestly hadn’t done a whole lot early in spring before this. (He’d had two singles and a walk in 17 plate appearances, I say as though I care.) So no, we’re not putting a ton of importance on a single homer. Still, Perez is a pretty good young pitcher, and that ball was absolutely destroyed.
I don’t think it’s overstating it to say that Ramirez was the single most important player in the Dodger lineup last year. Obviously, Matt Kemp‘s lost season was a killer, but this team has outfield depth. And you could argue that A.J. Ellis, though far less flashy, is nearly as irreplaceable given the depth behind him. But I think we all saw how different this lineup looked with and without a healthy Ramirez in 2013, particularly in the NLCS, when he struggled to answer the bell after a Joe Kelly fastball broke his ribs. It’s not overstating it to say that it’s absolutely critical that he remain healthy, especially with Nick Punto in Oakland. If Gordon isn’t even an option at all at shortstop any longer, a Ramirez-less world features… what? Brendan Harris? Justin Turner?
I don’t even want to think about it. Neither do you. I just want to watch Ramirez destroying baseballs on a continuous loop, and I just might do that.
As for the rest of the game — don’t know the score, don’t care — Zach Lee made his spring debut and got through two scoreless innings, and we finally got to get a look at Tom Windle, last year’s second pick, who finished it off with two scoreless of his own. In between, most of the regular bullpen looked pretty good, other than Brandon League, who will now forever be known as “it could have been worse,” which is how Charley Steiner put it. I’m not sure how, I guess. Maybe we’ll find out.