Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has had the same answer all spring to questions about Hanley Ramirez's suitability to be the team's everyday shortstop.
"If he'll go to work, he'll be fine," Mattingly said more than once. "He's got to work."
All indications are Ramirez has been going to work. He has been hitting the field early most mornings since reporting to Camelback Ranch. Coach Tim Wallach has been putting him through an extra 20- to 25-minute workout before the team's daily routine starts at 9 a.m.
"Wally's totally happy with his effort and what he's looking like," Mattingly said. "We film it and look at it pretty much every day. We're real happy with where he's going.
"Hanley's getting after it. We're happy with that to this point. We have to continue that. We've got time to keep gaining ground."
Mattingly and Wallach are looking for whether Ramirez is "speeding up" to meet the different demands of shortstop after spending the first half of last season at third base for the Marlins.
"I know as a third baseman you've got a little more time than you do at short," said Wallach who won three Gold Gloves during his 16-year major-league career at third base. "You're going to speed it up with your feet. His hands are good. His arm is plenty good. It's just speeding his feet up because that'll speed everything else up. And he's done that.
"It's kind of an inner clock that you have when you get used to a position. At third base, you know who that runner is. Your clock tells you, 'I've got to get rid of it.' When you go to shortstop, it's a quicker clock. You've got a lot more to do. You get double-play opportunities where you've got to speed things up. You've gotta get it there. You've gotta get rid of it. That's all the stuff he's been working on and he's looking really good doing it. He's done it with energy which is, at 8:30 in the morning, not always easy to do. But he's done it."
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Mattingly pleased with Ramirez's extra work at short
Orange County Register | Feb 28