Hanley Ramirez is keeping busy this winter playing for his Dominican team, Leones del Escogido, in the Caribbean Series. Next month, he will be suiting up for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.
The problem is Ramirez will be getting very little time at shortstop, and that might be making the front office of the Los Angeles Dodgers a little uneasy, writes MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez.
Ramirez has been used as a DH in the Caribbean Series due to a minor shoulder injury, leaving Miguel Tejada as the starting shortstop. Jose Reyes figures to be the Dominican shortstop in the WBC, likely leaving Ramirez as a third baseman.
Ramirez is coming off a season that began with a move to third base with the Marlins and ended with a return to shortstop in Los Angeles. Given that he has struggled defensively at short, the Dodgers would likely prefer that he get plenty of time there in spring training. But given the importance placed on the WBC in the Dominican Republic, the Dodgers are in no position to ask Ramirez to skip the event.
The Dodgers ended last season with Ramirez at short and Luis Cruz at third, and that is their tentative plan as they head into spring. Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times says they would be better served reversing their positions.