Hanley Ramirez is out of the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup Tuesday for the seventh time in the last eight games. The 30-year-old shortstop has been battling irritation in the AC joint of his right shoulder, which is an issue that’s plagued him over his career.
Ramirez started Saturday’s game, but was removed with tightness in his left calf after scoring in the second inning. He was called on to pinch-hit in the eighth inning Monday, but didn’t have the opportunity to swing the bat as he was intentionally walked.
With his availability limited over the last seven days, calls for Ramirez to be placed on the disabled list have grown. Manager Don Mattingly has been relatively noncommittal regarding the subject, but offered more clarity Tuesday, via Dodger Insider:
"If he was a DL possibility (right now) we wouldn't be using him." – Mattingly on Ramirez
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) July 1, 2014
Mattingly added Ramirez is likely to start at shortstop within the next two weeks, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Hanley Ramirez is expected to start a game before the All-Star break, Don Mattingly said.
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) July 1, 2014
Along with the shoulder and calf issues, Ramirez missed one game earlier in the season after being struck by a pitch on his left hand. The injuries haven’t helped Ramirez’s cause to find the swing that made him one of baseball’s most feared hitters in the second half of last season.
Ramirez began to improve at the plate when Mattingly made a decision to swap him and Yasiel Puig in the lineup. The change proved beneficial for Ramirez, though Puig saw a drop off in his production. With Ramirez unavailable, the Dodgers have again shuffled the deck with Puig batting second and Adrian Gonzalez in the three-hole.
If the free-agent-to-be is unable to get healthy for the remainder of the year, it could have a negative impact on the value of a future contract.
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