Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Hanley Ramirez is expecting a huge year in Los Angeles. Generally, if Ramirez is going to play shortstop then he has to really improve on his defensive skills. That has been the main focus not only for Hanley, but also for the Dodgers organization. Ramirez played third base last season for the Miami Marlins before a midseason trade to Los Angeles. Last season Hanley played 57 games for the Dodgers at shortstop.
For the most part, I feel as if he should stick to third base where he doesn’t have to cover so much ground in the infield. In my opinion, it just seems like Ramirez has lost his comfort for the position and that his range at the position has been shortened tremendously. According to the Los Angeles Times, the day before the Dodgers’ first full-squad workout, Ramirez reported to camp and made his way out to one of the practice fields, where he fielded some grounders at shortstop.
Ramirez originally was a shortstop in his career all the way up until last season in Miami where they brought in superstar shortstop Jose Reyes who pretty much would have that spot on lock on any team in baseball.
Last season, Hanley hit .257 last season with 24 home runs and 92 RBI. He has struggled for the past couple years, hopefully a fresh start with the new-look dodgers can put him back into superstar form. Manager Don Mattingly is very confident in Ramirez playing shortstop again and that he will do very well.
According to the USA Today, he has been taking ground balls at shortstop during Spring Training that is actually for pitchers and catchers. Hanley has made it very clear that he would like to get a head start on the transition back to his primary position.
The expectations for the Dodgers this season is generally win it all or bust. The key to their success is Ramirez rising to the occasion at shortstop and returning to the old Hanley that he was for the Florida Marlins a few seasons back. A lot of people felt like Hanley was uncomfortable when former Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen signed with Miami, but we will see how Ramirez does in Los Angeles with a loaded roster that can give him some help.
I am very excited and anxious to see how Ramirez and the Dodgers come back playing this season. Hopefully they come back very strong and rise to their very high expectations.