Hanley Ramirez was a late scratch from the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup Wednesday and he was absent again Thursday with irritation in the joint of his right shoulder. Following Thursday’s loss, manager Don Mattingly said Ramirez received an injection in his shoulder and was unavailable.
Ramirez did make a pinch-hit appearance Wednesday, grounding into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the seventh and the Dodgers trailing the Cincinnati Reds, 4-0. The irritation is the latest in a string of minor injuries that have kept Ramirez out of the Dodger lineup.
The 30-year-old missed one game in April after being hit by a pitch on his hand and three more games in May due to calf soreness. Though Ramirez was unable to contribute in what wound up being a loss, he’s attempting to remain positive, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
Everything happens for a reason,” Ramirez said. “We’re playing well. Nothing negative right now.”
Ramirez was also quick to dismiss the effect of him missing more time could have on a new contract:
Contract,” he scoffed, drawing out the syllables and rolling his eyes. “I don’t care about that. I’m just focused on winning right now.”
In the final year of his current deal, it was reported Ramirez is seeking over $130 million in a new deal. Wednesday wasn’t the first time Ramirez has downplayed any idea that his focus is on a new contract and not the team.
Ramirez admitted to playing with the irritation in his right shoulder for multiple days, but Wednesday was the first day Mattingly was made aware of the issue. In an attempt to help Ramirez find his rhythm at the plate, Mattingly moved his shortstop to second in the batting order, which appeared to be working.
In five games, Ramirez was hitting .294 when batting second, up from his .243 average when batting third, where he’s spent much of this season. Ramirez is considered day-to-day and his return is key for the Dodgers and his future contract, though he may disagree.
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