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Hanley Ramirez won't play third base for Dodgers this season

Hanley Ramirez fields ground balls at third base before Sunday's game against Milwaukee Brewers
Hanley Ramirez will not play at third base this season, Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly says

The future is a mystery to Hanley Ramirez, and not just his long-term future.

At season’s end, he’ll wrestle with free agency. For now he remains on the disabled list, nursing a strain to an oblique muscle.

On Saturday, Ramirez, who generally has been shunning the press this season, caused fresh intrigue over his immediate future when he took ground balls at third base.

Third baseman Juan Uribe was placed on the disabled list Saturday with a strained hamstring and his return is uncertain. The Dodgers like Miguel Rojas defensively at shortstop, so naturally speculation rose that when Ramirez comes off the DL it could be as a third baseman.

Apparently he was just messing with us. Manager Don Mattingly dismissed the immediate possibility, which makes sense for such a late-season move.

“Not right now,” he said. “We’ve talked about it in the past. We feel like he thinks moving forward in his career, he’s a third baseman.

“I think he likes to just make everybody raise their eyebrows. No real talk about it.”

Ramirez is eligible to come off the disabled list Aug. 24, the final game of the current nine-game homestand. Mattingly said he should be ready to come off on time.

“Unless we have a setback in some way, we feel like Hanley will be ready to play,” Mattingly said.

Mattingly said while Uribe is out, Justin Turner would be the primary third baseman. Darwin Barney, Carlos Triunfel and Rojas can also play third.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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