Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 11/1/11
Hanley Ramirez is hoping to be ready for the start of spring training as he makes progress in his recovery from left shoulder surgery. And Ramirez is expecting to open the season at his usual position -- shortstop. Although there has been speculation over the years about a switch to center field or another spot, Ramirez said in late October that the Marlins have not approached him about a position switch for 2012. New manager Ozzie Guillen said he didn't know whether the front office might have a position switch planned for Ramirez. "I just got there, and I just want him on the field no matter where. 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. That's what I'm looking for," Guillen said. "It's up to the Marlins, what they have in mind, what they want to do. The longer this kid's on the field there and giving me at-bats every day, that's what I need." Ramirez recently stopped wearing the shoulder sling and received a check-up from Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery Sept. 15. Ramirez is continuing range-and-motion exercises, but there's no timetable for when he can resume baseball activities. Ramirez, a three-time All Star, is trying to rebound from his worst season. He hit .243 with 10 homers and 45 RBI in 92 games. His last game was Aug. 2. FREE AGENT FRENZY: RHP Javier Vazquez, INF Jose Lopez, INF Greg Dobbs officially became free agents two days after the World Series ended. Vazquez is leaning toward retiring. The team might reach out to Dobbs, who could provide a solid lefty bench bat but could make at least 1 million. Lopez is not expected to be back. FALL LEAGUE SUCCESS: 3B Matt Dominguez was batting .227 with two homers and 11 RBI through his first 11 games in the Arizona Fall League. Dominguez, 22, the Marlins' first-round draft pick in 2007 (12th overall), batted .244 in 17 games for Florida in September. He is not a lock to win the third base job in spring training. TAIWAN SERIES: LF Logan Morrison and UT Emilio Bonifacio are among major league players who will play the Chinese Taipei national team in the 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series from Nov. 1-6. Bonifacio will play the outfield. Bonifacio figures to play a key role with the Marlins in 2012, although exactly where he will play will be determined later. The versatile utility man could start the season at shortstop if Hanley Ramirez (shoulder surgery Sept. 15) is not ready. END OF THE LINE?: RHP Javier Vazquez is home in Puerto Rico mulling whether to retire, which he strongly hinted at the last two months of the season. Manager Ozzie Guillen has said he wants Vazquez to return and sign with the Marlins again, but Vazquez said a new manager would not change his mind. Vazquez said he planned to make an official decision by December. He was named NL pitcher of the month after going 5-0 with a 0.71 ERA in September. He finished 13-11 with a 3.69 ERA, with 10 of the wins coming after the All-Star break. SKIP TO MY LOU: C Kyle Skipworth was batting .346 with two homers and five RBI through his first eight games in the Arizona Fall League. Skipworth, 21, the Marlins' first-round draft pick in 2008 (sixth overall), batted .207 with 11 homers and 49 RBI in 2011, his first season at Class AA Jacksonville. When the season ended, he worked with hitting coordinator Jack Howell before going to the AFL. DEAL FINALIZED: RHP Ricardo Andres was acquired by the Marlins from the White Sox in late September to complete their compensation for manager Ozzie Guillen. Andres, 20, was 1-0 with a 6.32 ERA with 11 walks and four strikeouts in 15 23 innings for rookie-level Bristol. The Marlins had already sent RHP Jhan Marinez and SS Ozzie Martinez to the White Sox in the Guillen deal. BY THE NUMBERS: 3.95 -- The Marlins' team ERA, the second best in franchise history behind the 1997 championship team (3.83). The 3.95 mark ranked 10th in the National League. Florida's starters posted a collective 4.23 ERA (12th in the NL) while the bullpen's ERA was 3.44 (sixth in the NL). QUOTE TO NOTE: "I want people to sit and watch the baseball game. I don't want people going to the game to shop. I want people to sit and watch a good baseball team. I don't want people to sit and say, 'This is boring,' and go walking." -- Manager Ozzie Guillen, on the new, 37,000-seat ballpark the Marlins will open April 4.
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