A fastball to the ribs all but eliminated the slugging shortstop and left him a shell of the player he was throughout the season and in the NLDS. Ramirez has had all off-season to recover and it seems as if he will be ready to go from the outset this season.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the 30-year-old shortstop was in camp this morning and is ready to go for 2014:
Ramirez said his ribs and back have healed. He wouldnt discuss whether he’s in talks for a contract extension.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) February 12, 2014
Ramirez fractured a rib on that fateful pitch and tried to play the rest of the series, but it was clear that he was hampered by the injury. He also dealt with some back issues during the regular season, after missing the beginning of the season with a thumb injury suffered in the World Baseball Classic. In his limited time last season, Ramirez hit .345 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI in just 86 games. He’s heading into the last year of his contract and has expressed a desire to remain in Los Angeles.
According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Ramirez took that sentiment a step further concerning his future with the team:
Hanley Ramirez wouldn’t talk about his contract situation, but said he wanted to be “a Dodger for life.”
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) February 12, 2014
This off-season, Ramirez has been seen on Instagram with a Dodgers-themed birthday cake and being involved in some intense workouts in preparation for the season. The team just gave left-hander Clayton Kershaw a record-breaking extension and have Ramirez next on their to-do list. He’s proven himself to be quite the teammate, based on his postseason performance and has regained his confidence at the plate to cement himself in the middle of the lineup.
Ramirez wants a deal done and it’s a sure bet that the Dodgers do too, meaning a deal could be done very soon.
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