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Jorge Cantu destined for the bench?

The ESPN fantasy baseball guy thinks that is a real possibility.

Homer Simpson has job security.

I mean, no matter what that dude does as an inspector at that nuclear power plant, no matter how many half-brained careers he stops and starts in place of his safety stewardship of Sector 7-G, no matter how many diatribes the now-departed Frank Grimes launched against him, Homer just keeps on truckin'.

By contrast, Jorge Cantu is a benched man walking.

The current Marlins third baseman is off to a slow start -- 7-for-29, one double, one stolen base, no walks and six strikeouts -- and his team is amassing an army of potential replacements who'll be ready to storm the hot corner at Dolphin Stadium at a moment's notice. Dallas McPherson is at Triple-A Albuquerque and hit a round-tripper for the third straight day Sunday. Wes Helms just came over from the Phillies for cash considerations. Alfredo Amezaga is still around. Even Cantu's owners in NL-only leagues need to be highly suspicious of a player who will almost assuredly provide the opposite of Homer-esque occupational durability.

Maybe, but I have my doubts.

One, Amezaga will platoon in center for awhile, and awhile is probably at least a month, since De Aza is still on crutches.

And I don't think the Marlins will use Helms as the everyday third baseman, that is not the reason they got him basically for free from the Phillies.  They got him to be a bench player.

Dallas McPherson, I don't know.  It is possible that he could take over at third base if Cantu continues to struggle at the plate.  But hitting a few dingers in the PCL doesn't impress me all that much.

It is true that Cantu is off to a rocky start batting: .241/.241/.276, still waiting on that first base on balls.  But it is early yet.  However, if he doesn't come around at the plate -- he doesn't have the glove to buy himself some time.

But whether Cantu is replaced or not doesn't concern me at all, what will get my attention, should he be bench bound, is who it will be.  What I am looking at is whether Hanley remains as the Marlins shortstop, or not.  If the Marlins move Ramirez to third base and have Andino or Amezaga cover the shortstop position, both of whom are better defensively, then it will indicate they are planning to keep Hanley long term.

If they keep showcasing Ramirez at short, then it may be a sign that the team will trade him to avoid paying the high salary that will surely come from arbitration.

Sure, this is pure speculation on my part, and open for debate.  But I do know this: Hanley is more valuable as a trading commodity if he is playing short than if he is playing third.  And the Marlins have better defensive shortstops in the system and presumably Hanley's bat will still work even with him playing third base.