When MLB fans first think of Hanley Ramirez they probably think of the batting title that he won with the Florida Marlins in 2009. Now, Ramirez is the staring third baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is primed for a great season in 2013.
This time last year the debate buzzing around Marlins camp was how the club would fair with Jose Reyes taking over at shortstop after Ramirez had manned the spot for six impressive seasons. Ozzie Guillen and the Marlins had a ton of trouble with that situation as it resulted in Ramirez being dealt to the Dodgers mid-season.
Ramirez was able to start fresh with the Dodgers and finished 2012 with 57 games at shortstop as the team’s starter, Dee Gordon, missed much of the second half with a torn UCL in his thumb. When Gordon rolled his ankle in spring training action on Tuesday, the questions about the Dodgers depth started to surface. Luckily, Ramirez has shown the ability to play third base at a high-level.
I imagine the Dodgers will stick a healthy Gordon at shortstop and move Ramirez to third base this year. Gordon remains a must-watch player for Los Angeles with 32 stolen bases in only 87 games last year. Dodgers coach, Don Mattingly, has enormous expectations for this club in 2013 and when Gordon went down with a bad ankle this spring, I’m sure he started to sweat.
If all things go according to plan, the Dodgers left side of the infield will be one of the best in the MLB. Also, the luxury of having a third baseman who has 886 games at shortstop under his belt is wonderful. Gordon and Ramirez are two guys that are poised for monster years this season and I wouldn’t be surprised if both were All-Stars come the 2013 mid-summer classic.