Hanley Ramirez heard a smattering of boos when he grounded out in his final at bat of an 0 for 4 night on Saturday. And manager Edwin Rodriguez has also heard the demands from fans and pundits that he either drop the slumping shortstop in the order or take him out entirely.
"I agree he needs a day off," Rodriguez told reporters this morning.
But Rodriguez said the options he has are not good ones at the moment. Who does he install at shortstop, for example? Ozzie Martinez, who was 1 for his previous 17 at Triple A New Orleans before the Marlins called him up to take Logan Morrison's roster spot? Donnie Murphy, who is hitting .121?
And, Rodriguez countered, if you drop Ramirez down to the lower half of the order, who do you hit third?
"Gaby (Sanchez)?" Rodriguez offered. "Okay, then who do you hit fourth?"
Ramirez is hitting just .194 and is still looking for his first home run.
"I've talked to him about his hitting," Rodriguez said. "The good thing is he's concerned. He wants to do good. It's not like he doesn't care. In my opinion, I think he's been way too aggressive at the plate. He wants to do good so bad that I think he's swinging at balls out of the strike zone. That's what I see.
"I've got options. But better options? I don't think so. I'd rather keep him out there. He needs to find a way out of the slump. Good hitters, they do that. They find a way out."
Ramirez showed up early to the ballpark on Sunday and spent an hour working on his swing in the indoor cages.
MURPHY BACK AT THIRD -- Murphy is back in the lineup for the first time since April 15 when he fouled a ball off his left knee. Rodriguez said he would prefer to give Murphy most of the starts at third so that he could use Greg Dobbs and Wes Helms off the bench.
"We're looking for a little bit more defense with Murphy at third," Rodriguez said. "We can use Dobbs at the way he's been successful in the big leagues, coming off the bench and as a spot starter. I always like to put players where they have a better chance to succeed. When we put together the team, that was the plan, Dobbs and Helms coming off the bench. It makes an impact on the strategy of the game."
Marlins: 1. Chris Coghlan, cf; 2. Omar Infante, 2b; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 5. Mike Stanton, rf; 6. John Buck, c; 7. Emilio Bonifacio, lf; 8. Donnie Murphy, 3b; 9. Josh Johnson, p.
Rockies: 1. Dexter Fowler, cf; 2. Jonathan Herrera, 2b; 3. Carlos Gonzalez, lf; 4. Troy Tulowitzki, ss; 5. Jason Giambi, 1b; 6. Seth Smith, rf; 7. Jose Lopez, 3b; 8. Jose Morales, c; 9. Ubaldo Jimenez, p.