TUCSON — While General Manager Ned Colletti tried to downplay the anticipated eight-week absence of Hanley Ramirez, Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly acknowledged he was concerned about the left side of the infield.
“To be honest with you, I’m not comfortable with anything that’s going on at short right now,” Mattingly said.
Luis Cruz or Dee Gordon will replace Ramirez at shortstop.
Gordon is viewed as having a higher ceiling but also a lower floor. If the inexperienced Gordon is chosen, Cruz can play his more natural position at third base.
If Cruz plays shortstop, the Dodgers will likely rotate Juan Uribe, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Nick Punto at third base.
Mattingly said he wasn’t sure if Ramirez will be the Dodgers’ shortstop when he returns.
“I have no idea what happens at short in the meantime,” he said. “It depends which way we go. If that really works and that really looks good and third base is a mess, then I think maybe we look that way.”
That is, move Ramirez to third base.
But if the Dodgers haven’t settled on a shortstop, would Mattingly be comfortable with Ramirez at there, considering he has played only 25 innings at the position since the end of last season?