Ramirez’s hitting woes
Alexei Ramirez entered Saturday night’s game at Tropicana Field hitting .143, without a home run and with just three RBIs. This start with the bat is much like Ramirez’s rough opening during his rookie campaign of 2008, when he hit .138 in April but finished with a .290 average, 21 home runs and 77 RBIs.
The White Sox believe Ramirez will quickly bounce back, and it’s not so much about the weather getting warmer as it is about the shortstop losing that anxiousness that comes along with high expectations and low results.
“Early in the year, in that first series against Kansas City, they pitched him really tough and he got a little anxious,” said White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker of Ramirez. “I think it kind of affected him mentally.
“He tried to do things different on his own. They are corrected, but mentally, he has to get to the ball.”
Walker addressed the notion that the American League is pitching Ramirez different and has adjusted to him after last year’s great success. But Walker pointed out how those pitchers already had made adjustments at the end of the 2008 campaign, and Ramirez was still hitting the baseball consistently.
Basically, Ramirez needs to swing at strikes or pitches close to the zone.
“He’s a decent bad-ball hitter,” said Walker of Ramirez. “Nobody is a good terrible ball pitcher, and he’s swinging at some terrible pitches right now. He has to make adjustments and get the ball in the strike zone or at least close.”
“This is the big leagues. This isn’t Equador or Costa Rica you’re facing,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Right now, he’s trying to do too much. He’s trying to get out of his slump with one at-bat. You got to take one at-bat at a time. Take your best at-bat and give yourself a chance.”