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Dodgers need to play Hanley Ramirez at third, Luis Cruz at short

August 28, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez makes a throw during a game against the Miami Marlins.
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez makes a throw during a game against the… (Patrick T. Fallon / For The…)

There’s something I continue to have a difficult time understanding: Why is Hanley Ramirez playing shortstop?

He’s not particularly good there. It’s not that he’s completely awful, but for a fast guy he doesn’t cover a lot of ground and his backhanded grabs have been less than average.

He was better at third. And Luis Cruz is a better shortstop. So why make the switch, why didn’t they leave Ramirez at third and Cruz at short? Particularly since, in theory, Don Mattingly said Dee Gordon will play shortstop when he comes off the disabled list.

Asked before the Dodgers left for Colorado how he felt Ramirez was performing defensively at short, Mattingly said:

 “I think he’s been solid. I don’t know if we’ve seen enough, or he’s had enough time to say he’s back to being the Hanley you’d see if he was working on it all spring and all winter ball.

“He’s pretty much made the plays.… I feel like he’s getting quicker with the shortstop pace. I feel good about him.”

It’s probably not as easy a transition as most suspect, returning to shortstop after playing almost all season at third. But Ramirez spent the rest of his career at short, so it doesn’t seem as though changing back would be too dramatic.

But since the Dodgers are trying to win right now, and since ultimately the plan is for Ramirez to play third and Gordon short (if not this season, then next), why not play him at third now and Cruz at short?

It’s their best defense, best chance to win.


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