Over at FanGraphs, Eno Sarris came to the conclusion that maybe Hanley Ramirez should start at shortstop for the Dodgers. The argument boils down to Ramirez being relatively weakest to his right, and surrounding him with good defenders, especially Luis Cruz at third base:
But there are the particulars of Ramirez’s defense. Baseball Info Solutions breaks down each infield defender on balls straight to them and to their left and right. To his right, Hanley had been terrible for two straight years before joining the Dodgers: -14 and -21 at shortstop. That was in opposition to decent numbers up the middle (-2 and +2) and good work to his left (+1 and +7).
Admittedly, there are two ways to look at these numbers if you are his acquiring team. You could think that moving him to third base essentially eliminates the need for range to his right. Or you could put a great defensive third baseman next to him that could get to some of those balls to Ramirez’s right.
For what it's worth, manager Don Mattingly has been asked several times this spring about Ramirez's defense, and has said the Dodgers have numbers that show what Ramirez's strengths and weaknesses are, and I'm sure this was taken into account when making the decision to move Ramirez back to shortstop.
In addition, Ramirez has been putting in extra work at shortstop during spring training, and the Dodgers are happy with the results.
"(Tim Wallach) been totally happy with his effort and what he's looking like. We film it, and look at it every day. He's been working hard and we're happy with where he is going," Mattingly said on Tuesday. "We're looking at footwork, and getting him sped back up. At third base you have a little more time, but short's a little quicker. We've got to speed it up a little bit. We're just working on technique and little stuff. Hanley's been great."
Here are some other links for your Wednesday:
- Among Jonah Birenbaum's four platoon candidates for 2013 at Baseball Prospectus ($) was Andre Ethier, with Jerry Hairston Jr. as the right-handed compliment.
- Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez told Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, "This is the best situation for me. I couldn't be happier."
- In addition to talking to Alex Castellanos on Tuesday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com caught up with non-roster outfielder Jeremy Moore, bidding to come back from a year lost to hip surgery.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Michael Milken's involvement with Guggenheim Partners, owners of the Dodgers, per Scott Cendrowski and James Bandler at Forbes.
- There is a catch to knuckle ball reality show winner Josh Booty's non-roster invite to camp with the Diamondbacks. It turns out that the Marlins still own his rights, reported Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports.