HERMOSILLO, Mexico -- If Dodgers infielder Hanley Ramirez is going to get some preseason reps at shortstop, it probably won't come during the Caribbean Series.
Miguel Tejada is expected to start the majority of the seven-day tournament at shortstop for the defending-champion Leones del Escogido, with the 37-year-old Julio Lugo a suitable backup.
That, coupled with the presence of third basemen Fernando Tatis and Luis Jimenez, means Ramirez will mostly serve as the designated hitter -- as he did while going 0-for-2 with two walks in Friday's 7-2 win over Venezuela's Navegantes de Magallanes.
"It wouldn't surprise me if he didn't play any games [at shortstop]," Dominican Republic general manager Moises Alou said in Spanish. "Maybe he'll play one or two, but we have Miguel; we have a lot of depth there. And in a tournament like this, you want to please everybody in addition to winning. I feel like with us, rotating guys and sitting a guy one day, I don't think it hurts the team."
The Dodgers have indicated throughout the offseason that they're committed to Ramirez as their shortstop, with Minor League journeyman Luis Cruz looking like the starting third baseman after a solid showing down the stretch in 2012.
But Ramirez may not get much time at the position before Opening Day. Plans to play shortstop in winter ball were scrapped due to a minor shoulder injury that relegated him to DH duties. And his decision to play in the World Baseball Classic for his home country -- which has shortstops Jose Reyes and Erick Aybar on the roster, plus third baseman Adrian Beltre -- could have him out of Dodgers camp from late February to mid-March.
Alou stressed Ramirez's shoulder is perfectly fine. "Otherwise," he said, "he wouldn't be playing here."
"He didn't play shortstop in the Winter League, so I feel like he prefers to DH [in the Caribbean Series]," Alou said. "But it wouldn't surprise me to see him there one or two games."