JUPITER -- Welcome from Roger Dean Stadium, where Marlins pitchers and catchers are reporting and we just finished watching Hanley Ramirez take ground balls at third base on one of the back fields. He didn't make any diving stops behind the bag or long throws to first. On the other hand, the Marlins have instructed Ramirez -- who is coming off surgery on his left shoulder -- not to dive after anything. "We want to keep him on his feet this spring," said Larry Beinfest, president of baseball operations.
"I'm not going to go into my list of worries, but I wouldn't say it's at or near the top of the list," Beinfest said of the transition Ramirez is making from shortstop to third. "You just don't go sign Jose Reyes unless you are completely comfortable he is going to play third base and play it well. So I don't think there's a lot of concern there."
Beinfest said he has no doubt that Ramirez will succeed defenively at third.
"I think he can play just about anywhere on the field," Beinfest said. "There's only so many talents like him, and he'll be fine. He'll do it whether it's a slow roller, or going to his backhand. He's got the arm. He's got all the thing he needs to do to be successful over there. I don't think mechanically, at least in my mind, that will be super-challenging for him."
As for Ramirez's off year at the plate last season, Beinfest said: "Never thought I'd see it. Really it's a blip. I'm confident that's all it was, a blip. That's just not who he is, and we do not forsee that happening (again)."
As for Ramirez, we just finished speaking with him and I'll get his remarks up later. Nothing major. He said that, mentally, he's prepared to play third and doesn't have any issues with the move.
For now, check out the video:
And here's what Hanley had to say about moving to third base: