Hanley close to getting reps at first base

Hanley close to getting reps at first base

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Hanley Ramirez hasn't played first base this Spring Training due to right shoulder woes, but he could be close to breaking out his mitt.

"He had a very good day yesterday, and again this morning with some of the manual patterns and resistance he's going through with his arm," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We feel like there's been a little bit of a breakthrough here. We're anticipating that throwing to continue to progress and ramp up. The goal, obviously, is still to get him games at first base while in camp, and we're moving towards that."

Ramirez is projected to start at first base against lefties this season while serving as designated hitter against righties. Mitch Moreland will play first against right-handers.

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Would Farrell like to see Ramirez play a certain number of games at first base in Spring Training?

"I would love there to be the most possible, but we'll put him out when he's first-ready," said Farrell. "He still continues to do drill work and take ground balls at first base. It's not like he's been completely absent of any work on the field. The throwing component to it, whether it's the front end of a double play, that's not been there. Game reactivity, game reaction, speed, we'd love to get him a handful of games before we get out of here."

Though Ramirez was not in the lineup on Saturday, he has been getting regular at-bats at DH, batting .235 with two homers and seven RBIs.

"He feels good, physically, swinging the bat," said Farrell. "He's in a good place, offensively, but the complete player is what we're still striving to accomplish."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.