Hanley Ramirez hits cleanup in return from benching, reporter thinks Marlins should trade him

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Day 1 of the (latest) Jack McKeon era in Florida involved benching Hanley Ramirez, but the Marlins’ shortstop is back in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Angels.

And not only that: Ramirez is hitting cleanup for the first time in his career.

Also of note is that Marlins beat reporter Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post wrote this morning that they should trade Ramirez because “they’re a better (happier) team without him.”

Ramirez has been awful this season while playing through back problems, hitting just .200 with four homers and a .593 OPS in 55 games, but the notion that the Marlins are “a better team without him” in the long term seems fairly absurd.

Even with this year’s struggles included Ramirez has hit .306 with a .380 on-base percentage and .507 slugging percentage in 813 career games for the Marlins, averaging 25 homers and 40 steals per 160 games while posting an .886 OPS that leads all MLB shortstops during that six-year span (2006-2011):

HANLEY RAMIREZ      .886
Troy Tulowitzki     .856
Jose Reyes          .809
Derek Jeter         .805
Jimmy Rollins       .780

Not only does Ramirez have the best OPS of any shortstop since 2006, including an OPS above .800 in five straight seasons, he won’t be 28 years old until December and is signed through 2014.

Video: Corey Dickerson breaks scoreless tie with walk-off home run

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Neither the Pirates nor the Tigers could manage any offense during Thursday afternoon’s game at PNC Park. That is, until outfielder Corey Dickerson launched a walk-off solo home run off of Alex Wilson with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Dickerson, 28, has been solid for the Pirates for the first month of the season. He’s batting .314/.348/.500 with a pair of home runs, 13 RBI, and 13 runs scored in 92 plate appearances. The Pirates acquired him from the Rays in late February in exchange for journeyman pitcher Daniel Hudson and Single-A infielder Tristan Gray.