Over the course of the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have had multiple players struggle to remain healthy. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez has faced a multitude of ailments and was placed on the disabled list in August to deal with an oblique injury.
Since returning, Ramirez has hit a lowly .154. In an effort to get his shortstop back on track, manager Don Mattingly has left Ramirez in the second spot of the batting order, where Yasiel Puig hit from for much of the season.
According to J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News, Mattingly believes Ramirez could regain his form in time for the Dodgers to make a run:
That spot there, who do you want the extra at-bat going to? Right now it’s not necessarily Yasiel,” Mattingly said. “Hopefully it ends up being Hanley swinging the bat better and better, because I do feel like we’re going to need him going down the stretch here. If we’re going to be lucky enough to get into the postseason and do something, we’re going to need Hanley to do what he does. Hanley’s proven over the years that he’s a batting title type guy. He’s an MVP-type guy. He hits good pitching. He can hit good pitching. That’s what we’re hoping to get back to.”
Last season, Ramirez hit well after returning mid-season from an injury. During the month of September in 2013, he hit .370 with five home runs and 11 RBIs, which helped him earn an eighth-place finish in the NL MVP race.
With his contract situation up in the air after the season, there has been questions over Ramirez’s future with the organization. Before injuries slowed him down this season, rumors surfaced that Ramirez was seeking a deal worth over $130 million.
Should Ramirez produce down the stretch like he did last season, he could find himself getting a favorable offer. The Dodgers are hoping he finds his hitting touch as the team tries to hold off the San Francisco Giants in the NL West standings.
Mattingly decided to keep Ramirez in the second spot in Monday’s game after he went 3-for-10 with three RBIs in the three games against the Diamondbacks.
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