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Ramirez in the Third Hole

Hanley remains batting third for at least a little while.

Hanley Ramirez made such a strong impression batting in the third spot Tuesday that manager Fredi Gonzalez has decided to leave him there -- and drop Miguel Cabrera into the cleanup position -- for the time being.


''We've always talked about the possibility of Hanley hitting third, so I think I'll give it a shot,'' Gonzalez said. ``We'll give it a few games.''

This makes sense to me.  It has been apparent for some time that Ramirez isn't going to continue to bat in the leadoff position as his career develops.  He possess too much power and given his propensity to make contact he is destined to bat lower in order to drive in more runs.

For this to work, the players batting in front of him can't clog the bases hindering his speed but they must get on base.  Assuming Fredi continues with either Alfredo or Reggie leading off and Danny batting second, the speed part shouldn't be much of a problem.  While it is true, Uggla will never be considered for a track scholarship, he runs well enough.  Therefore the experiment hinges on the OBA of Amezaga and Abercrombie.  If it is successful in the short run, De Aza will determine whether it will be a long term event.

But I like the idea.

Oh, in case you were wondering, Cabrera is statistically better hitter in the fourth hole.

Cabrera's batting average is 37 points higher hitting in the cleanup spot than it is batting third. His OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) is 75 points higher.

The downside is Cabrera will have fewer at bats for the season, if this strategy is adopted for the rest of the year.  But it could make the offense more potent.