Ozzie Guillen says Hanley Ramirez will stay at third base even if Jose Reyes is injured

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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.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.