ST. LOUIS — Not long after putting on a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform, Hanley Ramirez took ground balls at shortstop. It probably won’t be long before he’s back at his old position.
The former Augusta GreenJacket, who was moved to third base in Miami this year to make room for Jose Reyes, started at third Wednesday night against the Cardinals.
But Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he will return to his old position as soon as he is comfortable with a switch.
Ramirez said before the game that he didn’t care where he played, emphasizing how happy he is to join a contender.
The 28-year-old Ramirez was hitting .246 with 14 home runs and 47 RBI, far from his big season in 2009 when he hit a league-leading .342 with 24 homers and 106 RBI.
In his first at-bat as a Dodger, Ramirez tripled in the second inning, and had an RBI single in the sixth.
“I am sad to go,” Ramirez said. “This will be always be my home, but it will just be a little different.”
“It’s sad to see Hanley go to another team,” Reyes said. “We developed a great relationship. I feel he was one of my real good friends on the team.”
Meanwhile, starting Los Angeles shortstop Dee Gordon also took grounders Wednesday wearing a green cast on his right hand and wrist for a torn thumb ligament.
Luis Cruz started at shortstop on Wednesday.
Ramirez could move back to third when Gordon returns, but the cast isn’t due to come off until Aug. 2.