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Dodgers' Dee Gordon and Luis Cruz on replacing Hanley Ramirez

March 22, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez
  • The Dodgers' Hanley Ramirez is expected to be sidelined for the next eight weeks recovering from a thumb operation.
The Dodgers' Hanley Ramirez is expected to be sidelined for the next… (Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images )

PHOENIX — Dee Gordon will start at shortstop for the Dodgers on Friday when they face the Cincinnati Reds.

Gordon and third baseman Luis Cruz are the two players the Dodgers are most seriously considering as potential replacements for Hanley Ramirez, who is expected to be sidelined for the next eight weeks recovering from a thumb operation.

“I can’t go off what happened to Hanley,” Gordon said. “I was trying to make the team on my own.”

Gordon was the Dodgers’ opening-day shortstop last season but struggled at the plate. He batted .228 in a year that was interrupted by a thumb operation of his own.

Gordon is batting just .241 this spring but has an on-base percentage of .405. He has shown a surprising amount of plate discipline, drawing eight walks in 38 at-bats.

Unlike last year, Gordon said he isn’t trying to force anything.

Meanwhile, Cruz said that if Manager Don Mattingly wants to move him from third base to shortstop, that’s fine with him.

Mattingly said Thursday that his first thought was to have Cruz replace Ramirez. Cruz played 23 games at shortstop last season, providing the Dodgers with stability at the position before their July acquisition of Ramirez.

“I’m ready to play anywhere they want me to,” Cruz said.

Because of his off-season workouts with Adrian Gonzalez, Cruz said he weighs 213 pounds, down from his usual 220. Cruz said his lighter frame should allow him to get to more balls.

Dodgers lineup vs. Reds:

Carl Crawford DH
Dee Gordon SS
Jerry Hairston Jr. LF
Adrian Gonzalez 1B
Luis Cruz 3B
Yasiel Puig CF
Elian Herrera RF
A.J. Ellis C
Alfredo Amezaga 2B
(Clayton Kershaw P)

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