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Ozzie Guillen is open to Hanley Ramirez switching positions

Oct 20, 2011, 1:16 PM EDT

Hanley Ramirez Reuters

Ozzie Guillen met with Hanley Ramirez earlier this week and indicated afterward that he’s open to the Marlins’ star shortstop possibly switching positions.

“I just got there and I just want him on the field no matter where,” Guillen told Adam Berry of MLB.com. “If he has to be a shortstop, it’s shortstop. If he has to be somewhere else, I just want this kid to be on the field every day.”

Ramirez missed 70 games with back and shoulder injuries this season, but unless they sign or trade for a veteran shortstop it seems unlikely that the Marlins would move him in 2012.

Defense at shortstop has never been his strength, but much of Ramirez’s value comes from having an elite bat for the position. If he bounces back offensively following a career-worst season Ramirez’s bat will be plenty good no matter where he plays defensively, but the difference between shortstop and, say, third base would be significant.

Ramirez joined the Marlins in 2006 and since then his .889 OPS leads all MLB shortstops and only Troy Tulowitzki (.869) is within 50 points. On the other hand, during that same time period Ramirez’s same .889 OPS would rank just third-best among third basemen and there are seven different players within 50 points of him at the position.

Shortstops who hit like Ramirez are incredibly rare, so unless the Marlins think he’s a disaster defensively or can’t possibly stay healthy there it makes sense to hold off on any potential switch.

  1. natstowngreg - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    If he moves to 3B for defensive reasons (addition by subtraction at SS), the the next question is, who will the Fish play at SS? Can’t see Bonifacio as a regular there.

  2. dracko19 - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    Did you know some players actually excel at some positions (Jhonny Peralta-SS) and regress at others? (Jhonny Peralta-3B). I love how all these saber boys just assume everything stays static with stats regardless of where a guy plays in field or bats in an order.

    • Alex K - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:52 PM

      Why would where a player bats in the lineup change how he hits?

      • stinkfist5 - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:58 PM

        If you are a smart player, your strategy changes based upon who is around you in the lineup. You obviously never were a very intelligent player…

      • skeleteeth - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:18 PM

        Really?

      • Alex K - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        Why would you not try to do the things you do best because you’re hitting 1st instead of 7th? Wouldn’t a smart player only worry about the things he can control, like his at bat?

        Also, thanks for the feedback on my intelligence. It means a lot to me.

      • aaronmoreno - Oct 20, 2011 at 9:44 PM

        Did you know players at some positions (Jhonny Peralta-SS) get fat and older (Jhonny Peralta-3B)?

    • okobojicat - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:31 PM

      or that Peralta was actually terrible for a couple years at SS, got moved to 3B, was worse, was moved back to SS, and was no longer as terrible. Except for 2011, when he suddenly became all world. so that’s kinda weird. Except we know that UZR stats over one year are really innacurate. So if we look at something closer to a three year average, he’s probably around league average. He doesn’t excel anywhere defensively.

      YR POS UZR/150
      2005 SS -5.6
      2006 SS -9.8
      2007 SS -12.3 (1348 innings)
      2008 SS -1.2 (1271 innings)
      2009 3B -3.3 (902 innings)
      2009 SS 9.3 (in only 334 innings, so, not conclusive)
      2010 3B -6.1 (840 innings)
      2010 SS -1.2 (392 innings)
      2011 SS 10.7 (huge outlier. Either he figured out how to move, or the charts are off)

      “Saber boys” don’t assume a player’s defensive skill level stays the same no matter where he plays. Obviously some players can adjust to positions better than others. Your straw man is on fire.

    • JBerardi - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:55 PM

      “Did you know some players actually excel at some positions (Jhonny Peralta-SS) and regress at others? (Jhonny Peralta-3B). I love how all these saber boys just assume everything stays static with stats regardless of where a guy plays in field or bats in an order.”

      Do you think Hanley Ramirez will be one of these players? Will he be better or worse at third base? What are the signs you look for in a player in making this determination?

      • Old Gator - Oct 20, 2011 at 5:39 PM

        Hanley won’t move to third unless Matt Dominguez can’t cut major league hitting. Period. And if Dominguez, who has sure hands and throws accurately but has the ground speed of a glyptodont, winds up back in the minors next season, the Feesh have a problem. They haven’t had a real third baseman since Mike Lowell and the parade of plug-ins has never served the team especially well in the interregnum.

        If Slobbering Ozzie did move hanley to third, he’s even dumber than he looks and sounds. One of Hanley’s biggest shortcomings as a shortstop has been his inability to throw accurately to first. Moving Los manos de piedra another fifteen or twenty feet further away from first ain’t gonna help the Feesh’s infield defense very much.

        If the Feesh went out and got themselves a defensive upgrade at shortstop, Hanley would be better off in the outfield or at first base – which raises the problem of where they’d put Gaby Sanchez, who is a decent first baseman.

  3. dracko19 - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    For some players, it’s a matter of comfort. At lead off, you are expected to get on base, so you should take more pitches trying to get walks. This can put you in pitchers counts more often and lower your .avg. Also, if you put a hitter in front of a stud like Fielder or Cabrera, that hitter should see better pitches.

    • Old Gator - Oct 20, 2011 at 5:41 PM

      If you had Fielder and “third baseman of the future” Matt Dominguez on base at the same time, it would be like watching a footrace between a pair of Pennsylvanian open pit coal mine stripping shovels. How slow can you go? Horrifying prospect. Fielder is all wrong for the Feesh, a ton of blubber on a chassis that is bound to break down at some point soon.

  4. skeleteeth - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    Just wait ’til he strikes out against Bruce Chen…

  5. nav711 - Oct 20, 2011 at 7:52 PM

    This guy is nothing but a lazy bum!!!

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