Don't look now, but Jose Ramirez looks like his old self

Ramirez is hitting .333 in his last 16 games

James Rapien
July 15, 2019 - 5:03 pm
Jul 13, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (11) rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the second inning against the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

© Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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CLEVELAND, Ohio – Jose Ramirez has struggled this season. The two-time All-Star was a glorified utility player during the first few months of the year. His batting average was below .200 and wasn’t hitting the ball with power like he had in past years.

The Indians had to be patient during his struggles, and it looks like their patience is starting to pay off.

Ramirez has a .333 batting average with three home runs and 11 RBI in his last 16 games. The Indians are 13-3 during that stretch.

The 26-year-old was inconsistent with his mechanics at the plate earlier in the season and it was a big reason why he wasn’t driving the ball. Manager Terry Francona has been consistent in his belief that Ramirez is going to turn it around this season.

"His batting average isn’t going to look very good for a while, but he’s starting to look more like Josey," Francona said. "My guess is he’s going to get better.”

Ramirez has had some blasts that drifted foul this season. His recent production isn’t the only thing that’s different. His attitude and the way he’s carrying himself in the clubhouse is different. The swagger is back. He played Oscar Mercado in Ping-Pong before batting practice on Monday, just to challenge Greg Allen right after his game with Mercado was finished. He talked trash, was smiling from ear to ear and looked like a guy who was confident.

Ramirez might’ve just been in a good mood, but it must feel like a weight has been lifted off of his shoulders. He’s gone from the biggest disappointment on the team, to a big part of their lineup and a big reason why they’re pushing for a playoff spot in the American League.

Ramirez was 4-for-12 in the Indians’ three-game series against the Twins over the weekend. He had a home run, a double and made some nice plays defensively, including a diving stop in the eighth inning of Sunday’s 4-3 win.

He needs to play at a high level if the Indians are going to make the playoffs. He looks like the guy everyone expected to see in April. Ramirez doesn’t need to carry the Indians’ offense; he just needs to do his part. If he does that, then the Indians are going to be in good shape.