JUPITER -- Hanley Ramirez has been taking ground ball after ground ball at third base as the Marlins continue to groom him for his new role. Ozzie Guillen has said repeatedly not to expect defensive wizardry from the former shortstop but never fails to add that Ramirez should at least be adequate.
I think the bigger question mark is his bat. Ramirez has lost close to 100 points off his 2009 league-leading .342 average, dipping to .300 in 2010 and a disconcerting .243 last season. It's possible the attention he must now devote to learning his new position will remove some of the pressure off him at the plate. Then again, it's also possible that if his struggles with the bat continue, it could spread to his fielding -- and vice versa.
This much is certain: it will be interesting to observe and follow. Check out some video of Ramirez taking ground balls at third (while also wearing the team's new home whites), and give us your thoughts on how you think he'll perform this season. By the way, that's Jeff Dominguez -- not Matt -- working with Hanley at third: