Originally posted on Grab Some Bench  |  Last updated 6/22/13
Throughout his time with the White Sox, Alexei Ramirez has been graced with some nicknames. The most common is certainly “The Cuban Missile,” but my father and mother like to call him “Bones” and “The Cuban Skeleton” due to his lanky frame. Despite being poked fun of for his skinny body type, Alexei Ramirez could be earning a new nickname this season: “Iron Man.” Ramirez is the only White Sox player this season to have started every game up to this point. He’s one of only 12 players in the Majors to do so this year. Out of those 12, Ramirez is the oldest player at 31 years of age. PLAYERS WHO HAVE STARTED EVERY GAME THIS SEASON Player Age OPS Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) 30 1.104 Mike Trout (Angels) 21 .939 Evan Longoria (Rays) 27 .915 Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays) 30 .890 Prince Fielder (Tigers) 29 .853 Adam Jones (Orioles) 27 .843 Manny Machado (Orioles) 20 .842 Howie Kendrick (Angels) 29 .834 Hunter Pence (Giants) 30 .829 J.J. Hardy (Orioles) 30 .743 Alexei Ramirez (White Sox) 31 .655 Starlin Castro (Cubs) 23 .590 The list includes names like Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, and Evan Longoria: guys one would characterize as indispensable in a lineup.  However, Ramirez has not been anywhere close to that tier of players in 2012. While he’s been pretty steady at the plate this season, his power numbers are WAY down (just one home run and a slugging percentage that’s at a career-low of .348). His defense has left much to be desired as well, as Ramirez’s 11 errors are tied with Starlin Castro for the league lead at shortstop. In fact, Ramirez and Castro are the only players on this list who fall in the bottom half of the league amongst qualifiers in OPS (before Sunday’s action, Ramirez was 138th at .655, while Castro was 151st at .590) and lead their respective positions in errors. Castro’s playing every day because he’s just 23 and plays for a Cubs organization that considers him maybe the biggest part of the club’s future, but why is Alexei getting no rest considering his age and lack of production? While the fact that he’s a potential trade chip and the Sox want to ride whatever’s left of him while he’s in Chicago could be a reason why, the biggest rationale behind it is likely because there’s just no one on this ball club that can play the position. Jeff Keppinger has shown a lack of range at second base, so the team certainly would not be comfortable throwing him out there at shortstop. Gordon Beckham played shortstop in college and even played it for a few games on his AAA rehab stint last month, but he’s so strong at second base and the Sox would probably like to avoid taking a defensive hit at both positions, which would presumably happen if Beckham moved over to shortstop to spell Alexei for a game. Angel Sanchez, who was supposed to be Ramirez’s backup, didn’t stick. All of the above means that while Ramirez doesn’t produce like a typical indispensable player would, he essentially is for this ball club. Given the state of the position on the current roster and that there’s really nothing down in AAA that figures to help the team in the near future, it’s not out of the question that Alexei Ramirez can go the entire season without missing a start. Playing all 162 games isn’t as rare as one might think, as it happens at least once every couple of years. However, it hasn’t happened for the Southsiders since Albert Belle played them all in 1998, and that was the only time it happened in White Sox history for a 162 game season. Belle also played four games at designated hitter that year, so if Ramirez does play every game at shortstop, he would be the only player in club history to start all 162 games in the field. There’s a lot of baseball left to be played, and who knows what will happen to Ramirez. Heck, there’s a decent chance he may even get traded. For now though, all we are hearing is how the Sox and Ramirez believe that “The Cuban Missile” does not need a day off and that he’s handling the wear and tear of the season with no issues. So, it appears that a day off for Ramirez isn’t on the agenda for Robin Ventura and his staff. Ramirez has disappointed at the plate and in the field this year, leading me to begin calling his season a “Cuban Missile Crisis” (ya see what I did there?). However, in a year full of underachievers and bad health, Ramirez has been steady and can be counted on to be out there every day. Maybe “The Cuban Missile” isn’t the right name for him anymore. “The Cuban Tank” or “Iron Man” could be more fitting.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Roger Goodell on NFL’s concussion issue: ‘This is our No. 1 priority’

The shocking, swift decline of Shelby Miller

LeBron James trying to instill ‘sense of calmness’ ahead of Game 5

Patriots critical of NFL in Deflategate amicus brief

Report: Losing Pacers series would have meant Casey's firing

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joakim Noah reportedly told teammates he is done with Bulls

Doug Whaley clarifies humans playing football comment

Rivera on Newton comments: ‘Not putting anybody on blast’

Packers ‘being smart’ with Jordy Nelson’s return

Mets refusing to skip Harvey despite another poor start

Tony Romo on ‘supportive’ Jerry Jones: He’s ‘like a dad’

How disallowed goals can change the course of NHL games

John Elway: Losing both Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler was ‘big surprise’

Ravens’ John Urschel earns straight A’s in four MIT classes

How Phil Kessel has thrived in Pittsburgh

Adams dealing with ‘testicular contusion’ after Green kick

Joey Votto booed by Dodgers fans for stomping paper airplane

Ten worst value contracts in the NFL

Klay Thompson embarrassingly thought Warriors had 40 assists

The NBA’s five most tortured playoff teams

Arizona Cardinals want Tom Brady to play Week 1

Does Adam Silver want a team back in Seattle?

Five downtrodden NBA teams ready to surge

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

How disallowed goals can change the course of NHL games

The five most disappointing MLB teams this season

QUIZ: Identify these NHL Hall of Famers by their nicknames

QUIZ: Name every winner of the Belmont Stakes since 1867

Sniping quotes highlight NHL conference finals animosity

QUIZ: Name every NBA franchise's original incarnation

The 15 biggest playoff upsets in NBA history

Cy Young Award contenders at the quarter mark of the season

QUIZ: Name the NHL franchises that have never won the Stanley Cup

How the goalies stack up in the Stanley Cup Conference Finals

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker