Hanley Ramirez battled injuries last season, too. However, as he bounced in and out of the lineup in 2013, he carried a hot bat with him.
Ramirez’s success at the plate continued in the NL Division Series when he hit .500/.556/.1.063 against the Atlanta Braves. His effectiveness was quickly brought to an end in Game 1 of the NLCS when Joe Kelly struck the shortstop with a fastball that fractured Ramirez’s ribs.
Although it’s coming in the NL Division Series, Ramirez gets a shot at redemption beginning Friday when the Dodgers host the Cardinals for Game 1. While Clayton Kershaw said he’s not motivated by last year’s elimination loss, Ramirez carries a slightly different view of the 2013 NLCS, via Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
I want to finish what we were supposed to do.”
Ramirez played in more games this year compared to 2013, 128 to 86, but he never quite found any sort of consistency at the plate. Despite battling numerous injuries, he landed on the disabled list just once — due to an oblique strain in August.
The reason Ramirez opted to play through injury? His belief that the Dodgers need him:
They can’t win without me,” Ramirez said. “That’s my mentality every day. I have to be in the lineup. Even if they’re telling me they want to give me a day, I say, ‘No, I want to be in the lineup because I know my teammates need me.'”
Potentially adding fuel to Ramirez’s fire is he was hit by a pitch twice in the Dodgers’ three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals just after the All-Star break this season. The final time was in the ninth inning of the series finale and Ramirez missed the next three games.
Ramirez’s first opportunity to strike bat with his bat will come against Adam Wainwright, who he’s a career .208 hitter against. Ramirez did not face Wainwright this season.