Dodgers' logjam on left side is topic 'for the winter'

Dodgers' logjam on left side is topic 'for the winter'

Dodgers' logjam on left side is topic 'for the winter'
SAN DIEGO -- The inevitable offseason debate for the Dodgers revolving around three contenders for two positions on the left side of the infield arose Thursday, and manager Don Mattingly clearly wasn't comfortable with it.

"I don't think that's a discussion for right now. It's for the winter," Mattingly said when asked if Hanley Ramirez had shown enough as a shortstop to remain there next year or move to third base.

Third base is where Luis Cruz has suddenly planted himself, although he has the ability to swap spots and play short. Then there's Dee Gordon, once the incumbent, who lost his job while rehabbing from thumb surgery when Ramirez was acquired.

Ramirez has played a decent shortstop, but clearly his game is offense.

"Do I think Hanley is capable of playing shortstop good enough? Yes," Mattingly said. "It doesn't matter if he's shown it yet. Capable? Yes. But I don't want to get into Hanley at shortstop. Right now it doesn't matter. He's playing short until the end of the season."

Ramirez is a former All-Star shortstop who moved to third base this year when the Marlins signed shortstop Jose Reyes. Ramirez also is a former batting champ, although the plate approach since he arrived has been more of a home run hitter.

"For me, that's something to continue to address," Mattingly conceded. "He would have a lot more production if he thinks small than if he thinks big. He would drive in more runs, score more runs, steal more bases. To me, he has better ability than what we're seeing. In my mind, I'd rather see the approach of a guy trying to hit .330. He shows that at times, and not at times."