Hanley hitting second
NEW YORK — For a couple of weeks, Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez had several casual conversations about where to hit Hanley Ramirez in the lineup.
Off to the slowest start of his career, the three-time All-Star shortstop is batting .213 with two homers and 14 RBIs on the season.
Through the struggles, Ramirez had on-going dialogue with Rodriguez, who kept the shortstop in the third spot.
Now that Logan Morrison has returned from the disabled list, Rodriguez had another choice to hit third. So on Monday, the manager decided to make a switch.
Ramirez was moved to second in the order, while Morrison was slotted third in the series opener with the Mets at Citi Field.
Rodriguez didn’t want to drop Ramirez, to say, sixth or seventh, because he felt that would minimize his effectiveness. If Ramirez were to hit seventh, and he reached and stole second, teams would likely intentionally walk the eighth hitter to get to the pitcher.
Rodriguez also weighed leading Ramirez off, where he hit for most of his first three seasons. But the manager decided against that, because he sees Ramirez as a player who can drive in runs. Plus, the Marlins are happy with Chris Coghlan leading off.
So for now, Ramirez will hit second. For how long? That will depend on performance. But it likely will be at least a few games, and could last longer.
– Joe Frisaro