A Chance for the Marlins to Improve

By Keith McGowan


A few weeks ago, amid all the Jorge Cantu and Cody Ross trade speculations, an idea randomly popped into my head. Hanley Ramirez is arguably the most explosive bat in the Marlins line up.  Unfortunately, his defense is…we’ll just go with “less than stellar.” 

I began thinking about Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees. 

Remember that silly little problem of having to fit A-Rod’s bat into a line-up that already had a pretty impressive shortstop that goes by the name of Derek Jeter? Have you heard of him? 

Anyway, Rodriguez ultimately made the move to third, and has since become the steroid-happy cheater that we all know and love. The point being, Ramirez’s offensive numbers are what the Marlins need in their lineup, but they can do without the errors.

The Fish do have a slightly different situation on their hands. Instead of Ramirez being an outstanding defensive shortstop coming to another team that already has an established defensive presence, he is and amazing offensive player but a defensive liability, and pretty much the national face of the organization.

So, given the recent trade of Jorge Cantu, why not make this same thing happen with Hanley Ramirez? 

In an effort to sure up that defensive infield, why not begin looking now for that great minor league prospect at short?

I will admit I have absolutely no clue what I’m talking about when it comes to the Marlins’ farm system, but that’s why I’m not the GM. There has to be some young shortstop they’ve been looking at, if not in their own farm system, than in another team’s.

At this point, Wes Helms is definitely capable of finishing up the remainder of this season at third, and has a very valuable bat of his own. During off days or after games, Ramirez can begin practicing getting comfortable at third, and put in heavy work this coming offseason.

The Fish could then have a 2011 opening day roster with Gaby Sanchez at first, Dan Uggla at second, whichever young juggernaut of a shortstop you please, Hanley Ramirez at third, and still have that swell bat of Wes Helms ready to back up or even start at either corner of the infield or left or right field, plus a number one pinch-hit option late in games. 

With Hanley’s range at third, the shortstop may even be able to shade more toward second for more double plays, perhaps looking like the great double play duo of old with Alex Gonzalez and Luis Castillo. 

Ah, the good ol’ days…

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