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.