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.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: K-State players storm student section after big win

Tony Dungy coaches his way into Canton

Top eight takeaways from NFL Honors awards

Report: Austin Rivers out 4-6 weeks with broken hand

Brett Favre Hall of Fame discussion took less than 10 seconds

WATCH: Pop wishes Kobe well in heartfelt message


Eric Berry named NFL Comeback Player of the Year

Cam Newton to be named NFL MVP

Ezekiel Elliott hung out with Jim Brown

Rickie Fowler taunted by fans over his ex-girlfriend

Roger Goodell speaks about future of Pro Bowl in annual address

Mike Krzyzewski provides an update on his health

Another star confirmed for Super Bowl 50 halftime show

WATCH: Wayne Simmonds loses his cool, earns match penalty

Winners and losers from 2016 Hall of Fame vote

Brett Favre, Tony Dungy headline Hall of Fame Class of 2016

Terrell Owens says he was not elected to Hall of Fame

Bruins prospect hit in throat with puck, taken to hospital

WATCH: Mavs rookie laughed at for trash talking Spurs bench

Norris Cole has No. 30 retired with LeBron James, New Orleans Pelicans in attendance

Three keys to victory for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50

Torrey Smith: ‘This is probably the best offense’ for Kaepernick

Byron Scott thought D’Angelo Russell would be further along

Under-the-radar Super Bowl 50 matchups

Is Tim Lincecum's run with the San Francisco Giants done?

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in playoff hunt

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker