Hanley Ramirez back at shortstop

August, 3, 2012
8/03/12
6:11
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Hanley Ramirez had to move thousands of miles west to get his position back, but he’s a shortstop again.

Ramirez, acquired July 25 from the Miami Marlins, is making his first start at shortstop for the Dodgers on Friday night against the Chicago Cubs. He had started his first eight games with the Dodgers at third base.

The Marlins moved Ramirez to third base this spring to accommodate All-Star Jose Reyes.

It sounds as if Friday’s move is not a short-term one.

“I’ve talked about from the very beginning that that’s where I wanted Hanley to end up, you know?” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s really from the standpoint of being able to mix and match my lineups to the point of keeping everybody in it.”

Mattingly said he will use a combination of Jerry Hairston Jr., Luis Cruz and Juan Uribe at third base. Cruz got the start there Friday.

Dee Gordon has started 73 games at shortstop for the Dodgers this season, but he has been on the disabled list because of a torn ligament in his right thumb since July 5. Gordon had the cast removed from his hand Thursday, but he is still weeks away from coming back.

Mattingly said there are no plans to change Gordon’s position.

“I think the long term we have to look at him as a shortstop,” Mattingly said. “We talked about this with Hanley all along, so it’s no surprise he’s going back to shortstop.”

According to the defensive stat Ultimate Zone Rating, Ramirez has been a below-average shortstop since 2008.

Here are lineups for Friday:

Chicago
David DeJesus CF
Starlin Castro SS
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Bryan LaHair RF
Steve Clevenger C
Darwin Barney 2B
Luis Valbuena 3B
Jeff Samardzija P

Dodgers
Shane Victorino LF
Mark Ellis 2B
Matt Kemp CF
Andre Ethier RF
Hanley Ramirez SS
James Loney 1B
Luis Cruz 3B
A.J. Ellis C
Chad Billingsley P

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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