The State of the Infield:

Hanley Ramirez is happy and healthy and wants to remain a Dodger for the rest of his career.  Oh, and by the way… he’s not moving off of Shortstop!  You can take that to the bank.  Quit talking about him moving to 3B, because it ain’t happening for at least two more years and then it will happen when he wants to.

The Dodgers have the Pirate – you know “Arrrrr” who is allegedly the incarnation of Omar Vizquel and Ozzie Smith COMBINED, but can’t jump out of a boat and hit water (allegedly)!  Juan Uribe is signed for two years (the Dodgers will be lucky to get one out of him), Alex Guerrero is slotted for 2B but also has the arm for 3B, in fact, I think 3B would be an easier transition for him.  If something happens to Uribe, look for Guerrero to go there.

Corey Seager is AT LEAST a year away and I have no opinion as to whether he can play shortstop in the major leagues.  Time will tell.  It’s possible that the Pirate and Guerrero could both start the season at AA.  Dee Gordon is bucking for the 2B spot and could get it.  This is likely his last chance as a Dodger.

Through it all, short will be manned by Hanley if he is healthy.  Write that down.  I said it last year and I’m still saying it.  A Happy Hanley could be the MVP.  You don’t have to consider any more than that!

Chone Figgins would be a nice story, but don’t count out Brendan Harris or Justin Turner.

Barring injury, Uribe and Ramirez will be on the left side of the infield and Adrian Gonzalez will man 1B.  It’s possible that any of the six (6) players below could be the opening day second-baseman:

  1. Alexander Guerrero – 40% chance
  2. Dee Gordon – 25% chance
  3. Brendan Harris – 15% chance
  4. Justin Turner – 10% chance
  5. Miguel Rojas – 5% chance
  6. Chone Figgins – 5% chance

Ideally, it will be Guerrero, but he has a lot to learn about playing 2B and we have no clue how quickly he will adapt to major-league pitching.

Look for the Dodgers to make a bold move and open the season with Corey Seager at AA… although his spring will dictate that.

What if… Dee Gordon has an outstanding spring and wins the 2B job?  Would the Dodgers dare try this lineup?

  1. Gordon  2B
  2. Crawford  LF
  3. Ramirez SS
  4. Gonzalez  1B
  5. Kemp  CF
  6. Puig  RF
  7. Uribe  3B
  8. Ellis  C

Hummmmmmmmm…..

presidents-day-week-sale

  1. Badger says:

    Of course he is.

    In continuation of the last thread I found these stats:

    http://cuban-play.com/estadisticas/labor-de-por-vida-en-series-nacionales/barbaro-erisbel-arruebaruena-escalante

    He has improved offensively every year and hit well in the international tournaments. He may start slowly, but I look for him to be adequate at the plate.

    I give Guerrero a 60% chance of starting. Hanley stays at short until he is injured and then we see Barbaro, who starts at AA and hits at the top of the lineup. The more pitches he sees the better. Seager stays in the minors 2 more years.

    This will all sort itself out in our favor. I remain confident. 96 wins. It will again be the Dodgers and Cardinals in the NL.

  2. Juan says:

    I agree with you that Hanley will say at SS but Dee Gordon WILL NOT perform if he is a second baseman! Put Gurerro at 2B because he will perform with the glove and with the bat! Lineup: 1. Puig 2. Crawford 3. Gonzalez 4. Ramirez 5. Kemp 6. Gurerro 7. Uribe 8. Ellis

  3. RogerCraig says:

    How is it that so many people have such confidence in this Guerrero guy and yet has has never played?

    Wishful thinking, I would venture.

    Maybe he will be all that, but no one really knows. I have a friend who has a brother who works for the Dodgers and he says it is likely that Alexander starts at Chattanooga.

  4. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Of course Hanley is the shortstop for now. Who else is there?

    Hanley’s best spot on the field is 3B, and I believe he has indicated that he will move there willingly as long as he isn’t shifted back and forth between 3B and SS. From all I’ve read, Hanley wants to win above all else. If Hanley signs a contract with the Dodgers I’m sure it will be with the understanding that he could end up at 3B in the next year or two.

    Gordon could well be in the mix for 2B. All will depend on his defense at that position, and whether or not he hits. I’ve always believed that he would hit, and he’s done nothing yet to convince me otherwise. I’m also encouraged by his new found ability the last year or so to get on base, and by his new found weight and strength. The latter could well result in harder hit ground balls that find holes, and harder hit fly balls and line drives that find gaps instead of gloves. Could also result in more extra base hits, with harder hit balls down the lines and into the gaps.

    Guerrero????? I don’t have a clue. My only confidence resides in the Dodgers scouting staff. For now, I’ll have to hang my hat on their evaluation. If he doesn’t open at 2B in LA, I think 2B is ALBQ could be where he opens the season. Maybe Chattanooga.

    My best guess is that Corey Seager will begin the year at Rancho, where he had problems hitting at the end of last year. If all goes well, he might get a mid-season promotion to Chattanooga. I don’t see him playing a full-time role in LA until at least 2016, i.e., if all goes well.

    Assuming that Seager begins the season at Rancho, I think it’s highly possible that Arrue could open the season at Chattanooga. Unless he surprises and actually makes it to LA, I’m guessing that Miguel Rojas could open at short in ALBQ.

    Who knows. By the time the season opens the Dodger might well have signed another infielder. You just never know.

  5. Badger says:

    I can give you 28 million reasons why I think Guerrero is the Opening Day second baseman. You don’t give a 27 year old that much to play in Chattanooga.

    I would love to see Gordon earn a spot. That tells me he beat out all those other guys. Hanley hasn’t said he would move because no one has asked him to. Like we said, he is the SS on this team. He will remain the starter until he isn’t. I figure two more years, with Arrue getting a lot of innings starting sometime later this year.

    I got the same starting lineup as Juan with a different batting order. If Kemp is 100% I have him in the 3 hole.

  6. Quasimodo says:

    Hanley has made it public that he IS willing to play 3B for Dodgers. But I for one do not think it’d be a good idea to do so yet. It’ll be his idea when that happens, and I think he’s starting to warm to that idea as it makes sense. Doing it too early would rip off his energy.

  7. Michael says:

    I know he has been the bread and butter man but I don’t clog the bases with Agon hitting in front of Ramirez, Kemp or Puig depending on which fantasy lineup we’re looking at here.

  8. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I recall reading what Quas said above about Hanley. I believe he said that he was open to playing 3B as long as he wasn’t shifted back and forth between 3B and SS.

    Yes Badger, there are 28 million reasons why Guerrero is the opening day second baseman. But there’s also the fact that his contract allows the Dodgers to send him out in its first year. That $28 million wasn’t an investment for just this year. The Dodgers want to win a championship this year, and will do whatever is necessary to achieve that goal. If they don’t think Guerrero is ready at the beginning of the season, I have no doubt that they will exercise their option to send him out if that’s what they think is best.

  9. Badger says:

    Yes Brooklyn the Dodgers can send him out, but they REALLY don’t want to. Make no mistake, he IS the starting second baseman on this team. He will have to play his way out of that role.

    I remember when Hanley told the team he would play third base. That was last year when Uribe was a free agent. I expect the team to give him an extension soon. If it were me, and it isn’t, the shorter the deal the better – 3 years is perfect in my world – but that won’t happen. 5 is likely, with the last 2 having him at third. Who knows what happens with Seager. He may be in left field or at first by then.

  10. Bobby says:

    Yeah, I think 3 year with an option is great. Even 4 years for a 30 year old is ok, depending on cash.

    I love all of our “problems” now! Too many guys that might be ready soon!!! Oh no, poor us

  11. Mark_Timmons says:

    To set the record straight, no one has actually HEARD Hanley say he would be open to playing 3B. There was a report from and “unnamed Dodger insider” who SAID Hanley was willing to go to 3B.

    I think he open to going to 3B… in about 2 or 3 years. However, he looks more like a 2B or LF to me. He still talks about being forced to move to 3B against his will in Miami.

    My advice is to let sleeping dogs lie. If healthy, he’s the best SS in baseball. Why mess with that?

  12. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Here’s one of those sources who suggests that Hanley might be willing to move to third.

    http://fansided.com/2014/02/16/mlb-rumors-dodgers

    By the way, keep in mind that a 3 year deal takes Hanley to his age 32 season, and a 5 year deal takes him to his age 34 season. Lots of people add the number of years of the contract to the players age, and think that will be his age in its final year. Not so. Always subtract 1. Think of it this way, in a 2 year contract signed this year, the second year would only be 1 year from now, and so and so forth.

    So maybe the Dodgers would be willing to add a year or two to any contract to make Hanley happy. Whatever the case, they hopefully get it done soon, because the Jeter-less Yankees will be looking for a shortstop next year, and rest assured they would bid up the price on Hanley, whether they got him or not.

    • Mark_Timmons says:

      Brooks,

      That’s a garbage no credibility blog. He pulls that stuff out of his a$$. He has no connection. No credible person would talk to him. I put ZERO credibility on that site.

      Do you really think the Dodgers would let him in the loop?

  13. Badger says:

    Ramirez is 30 and signed for this year. A three year extension would take him through his 33rd year. An option year would take him through year 34. I think everybody would agree his best years are probably already behind him. He will still hit but not like a 27 year old.

  14. Quasimodo says:

    I have read (somewhere, but can’t remember where) and heard (on MLBN, and can’t remember by who) that HamRam would be open to 3B. So I’d rather it be only rumor, not that his willingness to play 3B would be bad, but SS has a better feel at this stage. Everything is fluid though and if Hanley performs in 2014 as he did in 13, I’d say he’s earned his bones to continue SS. Judging by all the photos coming out of Glendale, it looks like everybody is pretty cheerful. That’s sign that there’s no drama at camp.

  15. Adam says:

    Mark, in the past you have mentioned having inside info that Hanley is a headache. I know you can’t reveal anything confidential, but is there anything more you can tell us about this? I would like to see his contract extended but if he is indeed a cancer than I change my tune.

      • Adam says:

        On December 8 Mark wrote:

        “Maybe because I am connected a little closer than most, I know what is going on inside the team more than most. Some of you think Hanley is not a head case…. if you only knew…. Really!”

        That’s my only source. Just wondering if there was any more to this he could share.

  16. Pete M. says:

    I find it a little sad that players like Hanley and Carl C. can’t shake their past differnces with FLA & Boston… Shades of Reggie Smith 1976… By the time it’s said and done, I see Alex G. in the running for NL ROY and yes I bleed blue…. What a differnce a few years make with the Dodgers paying 5 players $20M+ next year.

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