Hanley Won’t Move from Short, But He Should

When Ozzie Guillen officially took over as the Marlins manager, he was asked about the possibility of moving all-star shortstop, Hanley Ramirez, to another position. Guillen didn’t dismiss the idea in the least.

“I just want him on the field, no matter where,” Guillen said last week. “If he has to be a shortstop, it’s shortstop. If he has to be somewhere else, I just want this kid to be on the field every day.” – MLB.com

Today, Joe Fisario of MLB.com had an update on the situation. His firs sentence…

“MIAMI — Hanley Ramirez has been one of the top shortstops in the big leagues for six years, and the Marlins have no intention of changing his status.”

Wrong. Hanley Ramirez has been one of the best offensive shortstops in baseball over the last six years. His defense, however, is, well, a bit offensive. If we go back to 2006 Ramirez ranks second to last in ultimate zone rating (UZR) out of 64 shortstops with at least 1000 innings at the position. That is to say, he only narrowly beat out the fantastically futile Yuniesky Betancout for the title of baseball’s worst defensive shortstop over the last six years. Even if we go with the more traditional — and less effective — stat of fielding percentage, Hanley still grades out poorly with a .968 fielding percentage, ranking him 49th out of 64 and three spots below “boot barn” Betancourt.

Despite the numbers — and the obvious eye test, including when he chooses not to hustle after a ball — Marlins team president David Samson has stated, 

“…Hanley is our starting shortstop.”

While fantasy owners will rejoice in the team’s decision to keep Hanley at short, the Marlins pitchers will be the ones who pay the price.