MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — Hanley Ramirez doesn’t expect any setbacks playing another new position with the Boston Red Sox this season.

Ramirez, a shortstop for most of his career, struggled to adjust after moving to left field last year, leading the team to relocate him to first base in 2016.

“I’ve always been an infielder so it’s going to be easy,” Ramirez said Saturday at the Red Sox’s Baseball Winter Weekend event at Foxwoods Resort Casino. “I think I know more territory and I’m going to feel more comfortable at first.”

Ramirez played 91 games in left before a nagging shoulder injury shut him down in September. The injury was a result of a crash into the left-field wall at Fenway Park while pursuing a fly ball in May.

In August, the new president of baseball operations, Dave Dombrowski, said he was moving Ramirez back to the infield.

The decision wasn’t met with resistance from Ramirez.


“I take everything as a positive,” he said. “I decided to play outfield to win a world championship and then I ran into the wall, so (it’s) something that I can’t control. After I hit that wall, everything was in a different way. Everything started going down.”

Dombrowski on Saturday reaffirmed the team’s faith in the move, adding that Ramirez’s glove is less of a concern than his positioning.

“I don’t think fielding ground balls are going to be the problem for him,” Dombrowski said. “I don’t think throwing from there’s going to be the problem.

“You have to make sure that the footwork is proper because you don’t want him to get hurt when he’s playing first base.”

Ramirez already has the support of the heart and soul of the team’s infield, second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

“I think he’s going to take to it and like it,” Pedroia said Saturday. “When you’re scooping balls and picking teammates up, it’s a good feeling.”


Last season, Ramirez hit .293 with 10 home runs and 22 RBI in April. His production tapered significantly after that. He finished with a .249 batting average, 19 home runs and 53 RBI.

His numbers were better in 11 games as Boston’s designated hitter. Ramirez hit .295 (13 for 44) with five homers and 11 RBI.

With designated hitter David Ortiz set to retire after this season, Ramirez didn’t hide his interest in assuming the role.

Until then he will play wherever he’s needed.

“Like I always say, whatever they say that I can help this team to win, I’ll do it,” Ramirez said. “I’m just here to win.”

METS: Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is returning. How long he stays, he’ll decide.

Cespedes, 30, agreed Friday night to a three-year contract for $75 million, but can opt out of the contract after one season and make it worth $27.5 million. Cespedes also got a no-trade clause.

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