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.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.