Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports

Why Hanley Ramirez playing first base is important to Red Sox

Rob Bradford
August 19, 2017 - 5:32 pm

Hanley Ramirez was back at first base Saturday night. And, as John Farrell explained before his team's game against the Yankees, that is something that shouldn't go under the radar.

"The flexibility that Hanley --  Hanley getting back to first base has helped us a lot," Farrell said. "It's helped us carry an extra pitcher when needed, and just, it really has allowed our roster to work more in sync, or as it was designed to do. So there's multiple benefits to it."

One of the benefits was put on display Friday night, when Farrell had Mitch Moreland at his disposal to pinch-hit for Chris Young in the seventh inning. Moreland, who has the highest pinch-hitting batting average in the majors since 2014, came through with the eventual game-winning, two-run single

"I think what makes a good pinch-hitter is a more aggressive one because you don’t have time to come out and work a count," said the manager when asked about Moreland's pinch-hitting prowess. "You’ve got to be ready to go right from jump street and he’s capable of doing that. He’s got a pretty, I think a fairly low maintenance swing when it comes to the swing path so when it’s compact and it’s aggressive he’s probably giving himself a better chance than a guy that needs to get himself in the flow of the game."

The Red Sox entered Saturday night 5-5 when Ramirez starts at first base.

Here is the Red Sox' lineup against Yankees starter CC Sabathia, with Chris Sale on the mound for the hosts:

Eduardo Núñez 2B

Mookie Betts RF

Andrew Benintendi LF

Hanley Ramirez 1B

Chris Young DH

Xander Bogaerts SS

Rafael Devers 3B

Sandy Leon C

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

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