Hanley Ramirez has strained his left shoulder during a botched slide in a Winter League game. Ramirez, playing for Licey Tigers in the Dominican Republic, is expected to return from this minor injury in time for spring training when the Marlins open camp. According to a variety of reports he has also contacted the Marlins front office about finishing the winter season in the Dominican. As the reigning National League Rookie of the Year, Marlins fans hope he can once again challange divisional rival Jose Reyes as the top SS in the National League.
In his first year with the Marlins organization Ramirez quickly captured the starting spot alongside Miguel Cabrera on the left of the Florida infield. He played 154 games at SS in 2006 and contributed with both his glove and his bat. Acquired with Anibal Sanchez and in the trade that saw Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell head to the Boston Red Sox, Hanley was easily the second most valuable player at his position last year in the National League. While Jose Reyes posted a line of .300/.354/.487 with 64 stolen bases and 19 HR, Hanley was nearly as impressive finishing the year with a line of .292/.353/.480, 17 HR and 51 stolen bases.
At only 23 years old Ramirez has a bright future ahead of him with the Marlins and fans can only hope that a variety of injuries do not lead to a decline in productivity. As reported by Joe Frisaro on mlb.com:
“Ramirez tweaked the same shoulder in mid May , when he swung through a changeup in Atlanta. He sat for a couple days but never went on the diabled list.”
Alhough he missed little time in 2006, and appears to be healthy enough to continue for Licey, the Marlins front office will have to be concerned and hope that the niggling injuries do not evolve into something more dire.
In other news, now-journeyman infielder Aaron Boone has been signed to a one year deal in the vicinity of $1M by Fish GM Larry Beinfest. Where the 9 year vet will play is anyone’s guess, as he has played primarily at 3B for his career, a positon occupied by Miguel Cabrera. Perhaps most famous for hitting a game-winning homerun off of Tim Wakefield to clinch the 2003 ALCS for the Yankees, Boone also made NY headlines for injuring himself playing pick-up basketball shortly after the Marlins clinched their second World Series. As a result of the injuy Boone’s contract was voided, and he signed a new deal with the Indians.
Boone’s best option may be coming off the bench, pinch hitting and providing a righthanded bat. For his career Boone, turning 34 in March, has batted .264/.325/.429. He has hit 115 HR and stolen 105 bases, the bulk of which was done in his six plus seasons in Cincinatti. He has never played the outfield and is unlikely to beat out Cabrera (3B), Ramirez (SS) or Uggla (2B) for a starting role at any of the positions he has played in MLB.
Thanks, as always, to www.baseball-reference.com for fast and easy stats.
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