Just as things were starting to turn around for Hanley Ramirez, who started the year in a 2-for-19 slump but had collected three multi-hit games in a row going into Saturday’s game. The Dodgers’ shortstop collected a double in his first at-bat, but was later removed from the game after grounding out to shortstop. Trainers examined Ramirez’s right thumb, which is the same he had surgery last year.
However, the news isn’t as bad as it seems. The Dodgers’ official Twitter feed reports:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 27, 2014
This can give Dodgers’ fans and coaches a reason for optimism. The 30-year-old veteran missed time last year after undergoing surgery on his right thumb to repair a torn ligament and missed nearly a month. Ramirez came back for four games before injuring his hamstring and ended up missing almost another month.
Once he returned, he and Yasiel Puig catapulted the Dodgers into the playoffs, though Ramirez was hit with a pitch in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Cardinals, resulting in a fractured rib, which severely affected his production.
Ramirez needs to stay healthy in order to increase the likelihood of signing a lucrative contract extension with the club, as he’s a free agent at the end of the year. While his production on the field has been tremendous over the past year, his ability to play day in and day out has been a question mark. The Dodgers wouldn’t want to make a sizable investment in a player who’s consistently missing games. Ramirez only missed one game after being hit by a pitch on his left hand and this latest injury doesn’t appear to preclude Ramirez from getting back on the field soon.
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