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Cora pleased with how Hanley handled 1B shifts

Hernandez sidelined with shoulder pain; Red Sox wear Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS caps
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With one start at first base in Friday's 4-3 victory over the Twins in the Grapefruit League debut for the Red Sox, Hanley Ramirez already topped the amount of defense he played all of last Spring Training.

Ramirez was limited by injuries to both shoulders last year and started just 17 games at first during the regular season.

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With one start at first base in Friday's 4-3 victory over the Twins in the Grapefruit League debut for the Red Sox, Hanley Ramirez already topped the amount of defense he played all of last Spring Training.

Ramirez was limited by injuries to both shoulders last year and started just 17 games at first during the regular season.

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This season, with the addition of J.D. Martinez -- which is pending the completion of a physical -- Ramirez will be the primary first baseman for the Red Sox.

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"It's good," said Ramirez. "Good to get back out there at first and try to get some work in and get ready for the season. It feels good. I'm ready to go and you can see it. I'm out there and ready to go."

Manager Alex Cora is looking forward to seeing how well Ramirez can adapt to the elaborate infield shifts the Red Sox plan on playing this season.

"He looked good at first base," said Cora. "He was far enough from first base when we were shifting [Kennys] Vargas to be in an uncomfortable position, but he was comfortable with it and communicating with the other players, so that was good."

Hernandez sidelined with shoulder pain

Marco Hernandez had hoped to spend Spring Training trying to win a spot on the roster. Instead, the utility infielder -- considered a bubble candidate -- will need to get healthy again.

Hernandez's 2017 season ended on May 4 when he sustained a left shoulder subluxation. He had surgery three weeks later with the hope he would be a full go this spring.

But Hernandez continued to feel some discomfort in recent days, and the Red Sox now hope the problem has been fixed.

Video: BC@BOS: Hernandez plates two with a fielder's choice

"Yes, Marco, he was feeling discomfort in his shoulder, we flew him to Boston," said Cora. "At the end, they took the hardware off of it. It seems like that was what was creating the discomfort. Obviously, everything went well. Can't give you a time when he's coming back. It's actually depending on how he feels about it.

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"There's guys that come out right away and they can go, and there's people who will still feel it and it's a longer process. Hopefully he can come back sooner rather than later. He was feeling it and at the end, they checked everything and it was the hardware that they have there. He'll be fine."

It's possible Hernandez misses the rest of Spring Training. He can return to baseball activities once he is pain free.

Brock Holt and Blake Swihart have the inside track on utility spots off the bench. Deven Marrero, who is out of options, is also in the mix.

Paying tribute

Cora was touched by the opportunity to wear a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School cap for Friday's game against the Twins. The victims from the Feb. 14 shooting at the South Florida school have been on everyone's mind.

Tweet from @RedSox: Today was a special day. Hats from the game will be auctioned off in support of the Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund. pic.twitter.com/3NQeNuWHgA

"I think that means a lot to all of us," Cora said. "Like I said before, it puts everything in perspective. It's something that gets your attention. My daughter turns 15 in a few weeks, and I got an email the other day from her school talking about they're having a drill. That's not normal. But going back to this, our thoughts and prayers are with everybody in the community, with everybody that is affected.

"Like I told you guys, there were some kids here earlier [from the school], right after it happened. Just talking to them and for them to let it out, be around the guys, get their autographs and stuff, it was great, but then you see them in the parking lot; it was just a glimpse of happiness. They have to go through a lot."

Video: Baseball pays tribute to Stoneman Douglas victims

Up next

The Red Sox continue their weekend-long homestand by hosting the Rays for Saturday's 1:05 p.m. ET contest at JetBlue Park on MLB.TV and MLB Network. Lefty Roenis Elias, a depth option in the organization, makes the start. Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree, two bullpen candidates, will see action.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Marco Hernandez