Breaking News
More () »

Will José Ramírez have another 30/30 season in 2023 with new rules? | Locked On Guardians

The new rules in Major League Baseball could make it possible for Ramírez to repeat his performances from 2018 and 2021.

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Guardians' third baseman José Ramirez, finished fourth in the 2022 American League MVP race. He hit 29 home runs, smacked an American League-high 44 doubles and he stole 20 bases while putting up a .280/.355/.514 batting line and battling a thumb injury that was so bad, he underwent surgery in the offseason to correct it. 

He’s also been the type of player to wreak havoc on the base paths but now with the new rules in baseball for the 2023 season which include bigger bases, fewer pitcher disengagements, the shift ban, and the pitch clock, can Ramirez take advantage of those changes and have a 30/30 season?

On the latest episode of the Locked On Guardians podcast, hosts Jeff Ellis and Justin Lada discussed the possibility. Ramirez already has one 30/30 season under his belt. In 2018, he hit 39 home runs and stole a career-high 34 bases—he also finished third in the AL MVP vote. Ramirez nearly got it again in 2021 when he finished with 36 home runs and 27 stolen bases on 31 attempts.

SUBSCRIBE to the DAILY Locked On Guardians podcast, free and available on all platforms

During the offseason, Guardians pitcher Triston McKenzie discussed the new rules and how he thinks they could help his veteran teammate. 

McKenzie said, “I think the game is going to have to be a little more athletic in certain aspects, but I don’t think it’s going to change the game to a degree that everybody thinks it’s going to change it to. I think there’s going to be numbers that are going to change, but the game is going to stay the same.” 

Then when it was mentioned that some of his teammates could put up even bigger numbers because of the shift ban, McKenzie made it a point to mention Ramirez who had some hits taken away up the middle in 2022—he hit up the middle at a 50% clip.

Each Locked On Guardians co-host had a different prediction for Ramirez in 2023. 

Ellis, erring on the side of caution, doesn’t think Ramirez will have a 30/30 season. He gives a number of reasons but the main one is Ramirez’s health, He cites how the thumb injury and subsequent surgery could prevent the Guardians from giving Ramirez the green light to steal to start off the season. 

Ellis also thinks it’s possible the injury made it so Ramirez couldn’t prepare for the season the same way he has in other off-seasons. And finally, Ellis thinks age might come into play. Ramirez is turning 31 in September and it’s normal to see a player regress a bit after hitting 30.

Lada, on the other hand, thinks Ramirez can get to 30/30 again. He cited all of his stealing attempts in previous years—and made it a point to mention 2018 when Ramirez attempted to steal 40 times and was caught six times. Lada even predicted that Ramirez would finish 2023 with exactly 30 steals while attempting 35.

And while Lada pointed out that the bigger bases could help Ramirez, Ellis countered with the idea that it’s possible the bigger bases could hurt him if he slides head-first into second base. They also discussed Ramirez’s sprint speed and how it’s increased in recent years and how aggressive he can be on the base paths.

Plus, with the new disengagement rules for pitchers—they’re only allowed two disengagements per plate appearance (disengagements are any time the pitcher makes a pickoff attempt, fakes a pickoff, or steps off the rubber for any reason, as well as when the defense requests time)—it’s possible José Ramirez will take advantage of every new rule baseball implemented for the 2023 season and if he stays healthy, could have a monster season for the Guardians.

BE SURE to listen to Locked On Guardians wherever you find your favorite podcasts!


Before You Leave, Check This Out