With Hanley Ramirez out of the Marlins lineup indefinitely, Brian Barden should get the majority of action at shortstop. But if he were to need to a break, manager Fredi Gonzalez said Tuesday Wes Helms or backup catcher Brett Hayes could play shortstop for a few innings if needed.
"If the game is on the line and we need to pinch hit for him, we could run Wes Helms for him. You can get at-bats with him and you don't know if the ball is going to get hit there," Gonzalez said ."We were almost there last night, but it never materialized. One old coach said you can guarantee a hitter four at-bats, you can't guarantee a ball being hit there for a few innings."
Helms, a veteran corner infielder, has never played shortstop in the majors. Hayes, who also has never played shortstop in the pros, supposedly played the position some in high school.
For what it is worth, Barden is playing shortstop with a bum left ankle. He said he sprained it making attempting to make sliding catch in the series final against the Mets.
"Once you get out there honestly and get that adrenaline going you don't really feel it," Barden said before getting the start Tuesday. "It was kind hard to push off and go side to side on defense. Luckily they didn't hit any ground balls, just the first one [Justin] Upton had when I first went into the game."
"I'm excited to be out there. Obviously it's just bad timing. Hopefully, I could get some knocks today."