Marlins prez: Hanley Ramirez will play shortstop in 2012

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Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen told the media a few weeks ago that he had spoken to Hanley Ramirez about possibly moving away from shortstop.

Hanley’s defense there has always been a bit spotty and there’s a belief that it will only get worse.

But there will be no position change in 2012.

According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Marlins president David Samson said Saturday that Ramirez is already locked in as the team’s starting shortstop next season. And that’s not going to change unless the club suddenly goes wild in free agency.

“There has been no conversations with that,” Samson said. “I suppose if we sign a free-agent first baseman who would only sign with us if he could play shortstop, I guess that is the conversation we’d have with all of our players. His range of motion is getting better. He’s improving, and we expect him to be in the lineup on Opening Day.”

Ramirez had a down year offensively in 2011, but the 27-year-old still boasts a fantastic .886 career OPS. He’s expected to be fully recovered from his late-season shoulder surgery by the start of spring training.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:

The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).

It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: