When the Marlins signed Jose Reyes to be their starting shortstop, they were unsure of how Hanley Ramirez was going to respond. He could have been upset and disgruntled, they acknowledged, or he could have been satisfied and content that the front office was finally building a winning core around him. Either way, the team may have taken a gamble that might just pay off.
The signing of Reyes meant that Ramirez would be forced to play third base. Immediately, rumors spread about how Hanley wanted to be traded, since he felt he was a "shortstop and not a third baseman." However, having been in touch with Reyes, a good friend of his, throughout the process, Ramirez eventually embraced the position change.
As spring training began, Ramirez remained dedicated, constantly participating in fielding drills at his new position. Currently, both Ramirez and Reyes have been all smiles. Reyes is feeling healthy, and Hanley is excited and prepared for the upcoming season. Most recently seen on MLB Network's "30 Clubs In 30 Days" on Wednesday, Ramirez and Reyes are smiling and having fun, allowing the front office to finally exhale with confidence.
-Throughout spring training, Hanley Ramirez has had a consistent swing and is seeing the offensive part of his game coming to life. In addition to that, Ramirez is also handling his position change well. Ozzie Guillen, a supporter of Ramirez, most recently said, "One day, I think people will forget he was once a shortstop."-Jose Reyes sparked the top of the lineup, and Terry Tiffee hit a homer in a 5-5 tie against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday. Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco, whose "body language" sparked controversy in the eyes of the Braves' broadcasting team, had a decent outing.
-Aaron Rowand, who is competing with Austin Kearns among others for a roster spot, still believes he has what it takes to make the team. "I'm not worried about my situation. I'm not worried about anyone else. I'm worried about getting myself ready," he said.
-Marlins starter Mark Buehrle hopes to win a gold glove in the National League. Buehrle has won three in his career, and is most famous for his opening day 2010 play in which he fielded a ball and threw it through his legs to the first baseman who caught it with his bare hand to retire the batter. ESPN used the "Buehrle Meter" to compare all of that season's significant plays to that Buehrle made.
-According to Forbes, the new Miami Marlins are worth $450 million, which is a 25 percent increase from last season.
-This long time Marlins fan had a hard time attending his first game at Marlins Park, due to the fact that he travels around in a wheelchair, and the parking garages do not have many ramps, he said.
-Marlins' pitcher Wade LeBlanc, who was acquired from the San Diego Padres for catcher John Baker, is having an excellent spring. LeBlanc is trying to win a spot in the bullpen, as the Marlins already have five starters. Manager Ozzie Guillen most recently said if spring training had a MVP award, he would give it to LeBlanc.
-Logan Morrison, Mike Stanton, and Greg Dobbs, three key players for the Marlins, were cleared to begin "baseball related activities" on Tuesday. Manager Ozzie Guillen joked with the term "baseball activities", admitting it is not very convincing and does not mean much.
-After last Sunday's game, Greg Dobbs was asked to spend 15 minutes with each group of kids during the baseball clinic. There were four rotations, and all four were expected to take no longer than an hour. However, Dobbs, who was manning the batting station, decided to make it a personal experience for each kid, and stayed at Roger Dean long after all of the other players had left to teach the youngsters how to bat.
Around The League
-An MLB.com report explains that the cutter is becoming more common around the league.
-Due to Cardinals' pitcher Chris Carpenter's injury, St. Louis will send Kyle Lohse to the mound to face the Marlins on opening day.
At Fish Stripes
-Fans, you can do so much more than just comment on Fish Stripes. This season, increased fan participation is a goal.
-Heath Bell, when at his best, is one of baseball's elite closers. What type of season will he have with the Marlins?
-Carlos Zambrano was a controversial acquisition. How will he do away from Chicago?