After getting off to a slow start, Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez has been producing at a higher mark over the past 15 games. The increase in Ramirez’s production has coincided with being moved up one spot in the lineup.
While batting second, Ramirez has hit .340 with 13 RBIs, which is nearly a 100-point increase from his .247 average when slotted in the third position of the lineup.
Manager Don Mattingly is happy with his decision to swap Ramirez with Yasiel Puig, despite Puig’s slight slump since the switch and doesn’t plan on another change, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
Not really. Hanley’s been really good there,” Mattingly said, dismissing Puig’s diminished production since moving back a spot. “I’m not tempted at all.”
Ramirez has been hitting behind Dee Gordon, who ranks in the top five in numerous categories including stolen bases, batting average, on-base percentage and RBIs, is having a career year that Ramirez is reaping the benefits of.
Mattingly also discussed the threat Gordon possesses on the basepaths and the impact he has on opposing pitchers:
“I think Dee does the same thing. If that guy doesn’t continue to throw over, he’s going to steal the base. So you’ve either got to concede the base or you’ve got to keep throwing over a lot and try to disrupt his timing.”
Gordon’s impressive base running abilities have forced pitchers to feed fastballs to Ramirez in attempt to make it more difficult on the speedy second baseman to steal bases. This could correlate with the success Ramirez is having of late.
The tandem at the top has been put on pause in recent days, due to Ramirez missing Tuesday’s game with irritation in his right shoulder. Gordon was also out of the lineup Tuesday, but returns Wednesday while Ramirez is still out.
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