Like many of this teammates, Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez has been in a season-long power slump. After 29 games, the Cubs' No. 4 hitter has just 1 home run and 11 RBI. The good news is that Ramirez is hitting .282, which is a vast improvement over the first two months of 2010, when he hit just .150.
"Anybody who thinks he should come out here, especially early on in the season, and try to hit anything beyond line drives to have success is nuts," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "Long fly balls here are outs here in April and May."
Ramirez is making consistent contact, however his slugging percentage of .382 is below the team's slugging percentage of .405. That number is particularly significant for any team's No. 4 hitter. The question now is whether Quade will move him out of the No. 4 spot if he continues to hit singles instead of doubles and home runs.
"I don't think anything is forever," Quade said, "but it's forever right now. I have no intentions of getting him out of there right now. I still think he has the best approach to drive in runs. I know we've been struggling with runners in scoring position, but again, there are a lot of guys in that boat."
Ramirez is hitting just .214 with runners in scoring position (6-for-28). In the Cubs' world of ever-changing lineups, Ramirez is the only batter to hit in the same spot in the lineup in all the games in which he's played.