Now that Hanley Ramirez has put to rest all the offseason speculation about his willingness to play third base the next question is whether the Marlins would move him back to shortstop if Jose Reyes is on the disabled list.
Ozzie Guillen gave a pretty adamant “no” to that question today, telling Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald:
I won’t play with Hanley’s mind. It’s going to be hard for him to move to shortstop, and then when Reyes is ready, back to third base. Then we’re abusing this kid and we don’t respect him.
So who would step in at shortstop if Reyes goes down? Guillen pointed to Emilio Bonifacio, who’s slated to be the Opening Day center fielder but has played 96 games at shortstop in the majors.
Of course, if Reyes were to get injured and the recovery timetable was more than a few weeks it wouldn’t be shocking to see Guillen change his mind. Ramirez has been a starting shortstop in the majors for 824 games and more than 7,000 innings, so it’s tough to imagine Guillen playing Bonifacio there every day for an extended period with Ramirez standing right next to him. For a game here or there, though, it makes some sense.
The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.
The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.
After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.
Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.
Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.