LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- While it's fairly clear the move to third base hasn't impacted his offense in any fashion -- he was hitting .385 heading into Thursday's game against the Braves -- it would be understandable if the defensive transition took a little longer for Hanley Ramirez.
It may be too soon to engrave a Gold Glove for the shortstop who moved over to make room for Jose Reyes, but the early reviews have been very positive. Manager Ozzie Guillen, a former Gold Glover himself, has been pleasantly surprised with how natural Ramirez already looks at his new home.
"One day, I think people will forget he was a shortstop," Guillen said. "How many games have we played? I don't think he's made one mistake yet. He's going to make errors, like everybody else does, but I don't see him running away from balls. He takes ground balls very well. If that's going to be my problem, I will take all the problems. He's been good."
In 11 starts at third prior to Thursday's game, Ramirez had made one error in 18 total chances.
Injured Marlins progressing, but time is short
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Opening Day is less than two weeks away, and time is running short for some important injured Marlins to be ready for that April 4 game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
There was some good news on that front on Thursday. Logan Morrison (right knee), Giancarlo Stanton (left knee) and Greg Dobbs (left hamstring) all resumed baseball activities in Jupiter as the team played the Braves on the road. And all three will see time as a DH in Minor League games this weekend, assuming they don't have any setbacks following Thursday's activities.
They will be trying to make up for lost time without rushing too much, and it will be arranged so they can lead off every inning, squeezing in as many live at-bats as possible. Stanton has just nine at-bats this spring, Dobbs has five and Morrison, who ran, hit and threw during his workout on Thursday, only has two.
"Like I said earlier, I told them, 'You want to make this ballclub, you better hurry,'" manager Ozzie Guillen said. "You know me, I have to be prepared. We have to be prepared with what we have on the field, how we're going to make the lineup for the last couple of weeks in Spring Training. I want to know if they're available or not. I'm not saying they should push those guys out on the field. But I want to have a better idea."
How the trio responds to the Minor League activity this weekend should go a long way toward giving Guillen that idea. While it's only Spring Training, the Marlins have been struggling offensively, in no small part because their starting corner outfielders and heart of the lineup have missed all but a very small part of Grapefruit League action.
If Stanton and Morrison aren't ready to start the season, Guillen will choose from a pool of other outfielders to fill the spots. On Thursday against the Braves, Bryan Petersen started in left and Scott Cousins played right. Aaron Rowand, hoping to hook on as a backup, started in center field.
"I'm not worried about it," Guillen said. "Somebody will play left field and somebody will play right field. Hopefully it will be them. If they're ready, we'll play them. If they're not, somebody will take their place."
Ozzie reflects on Chipper's retirement
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- When Ozzie Guillen was nearing the end of his playing career, he was released by the Baltimore Orioles in May 1998. He signed days later with the Atlanta Braves, staying there for the remainder of the year.
He had such a good experience, including making it to the postseason for only the second time in his career, he re-upped with the Braves that offseason and served as a reserve for a club that went to the World Series. He spent much of his time in the field at shortstop, alongside Chipper Jones on the left side of the infield. Jones was the National League MVP that season, and when the longtime Braves third baseman announced before Thursday's game against Guillen's Marlins that he would retire at the conclusion of the 2012 season, Guillen heaped praise on his former teammate.
"That year, the reason I was in the playoffs one more time was because of him," Guillen said. "I've never seen anybody perform in the clutch the way he did that year.
"You talk about the Atlanta Braves, you talk about National League players, and about baseball in general, Chipper Jones is one of the top guys. So many years in the game, he did a lot of great things in the game, did it clean. He went through a lot of physical [issues] the last couple of years, but still went out there and performed. What can you ask from a guy when you manage or play with him? This kid, he went about his business in the right way and went out there played well."