Hanley puts in early work to shake June slump

Hanley puts in early work to shake June slump

Hanley puts in early work to shake June slump
MIAMI -- Much like his team, Hanley Ramirez has been in a June rut following a stellar May.

Ramirez hit .322 with 20 RBIs and 15 extra-base hits last month, and that success appeared to be carrying over into June after he belted three homers during a three-game series in Philadelphia to start the month. Since that series, though, Ramirez is 9-for-53 with a double and no RBIs.

"Hanley's been thinking a lot and he's having a very bad month, just like everybody else," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I tried to get him better and I tried to get him not to think too much, and hopefully that helps."

Ramirez was on the field taking early batting practice with hitting coach Eduardo Perez 3 1/2 hours before Friday's series opener with the Blue Jays. The early hitting session appeared to focus on Ramirez getting better lift on his front foot and driving the ball up the middle of the field and hitting it the opposite way to right field.

Guillen eventually stepped into the batter's box and showed Ramirez a couple of things in terms of mechanics in order to "help him clean some stuff up," as Miami's skipper put it.

With Ramirez struggling to find a groove at the plate, Guillen moved him up to No. 2 in the order from his usual three-spot last Friday against the Rays. The shift in the order hasn't produced many results yet, as Ramirez has gone 5-for-24 since. But Guillen plans to stick with it for the time being.

"I cannot find a spot [for him], because everybody is struggling," Guillen said. "If I see somebody going off, swinging the bat better, then I will change the lineup, but we're not, so I'm not doing anything."