Hanley Ramirez was absent from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup Sunday, marking the fifth time in the last six games that’s been the case.
For all intents and purposes, Ramirez has missed the last six games as he managed just one at-bat Saturday before being removed due to tightness in his troublesome left calf. The Dodgers consider Ramirez day-to-day though a stint on the disabled list hasn’t been ruled out.
Justin Turner also suffered an injury in Saturday’s game and was placed on the DL, which led to Carlos Triunfel being recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque.
The latest injuries to the Dodger infield has resulted in some patchwork being done that’s left the team with three infielders capable of playing on th left side — Miguel Rojas, Triunfel and Juan Uribe.
While losing Ramirez, who is in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak would be a blow to the offense, manager Don Mattingly believes the Dodgers would be better off defensively, via Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times:
I like our lineup a lot better with him in it,” said Manager Don Mattingly. “But I think we’re built on pitching and if we can defend … the only positive is I think we’re a little better defensively with someone else. But there’s no way you can say we’re a better offensive club when Hanley’s not in there.”
By most accounts Ramirez is considered at best an average defender at shortstop. He’s committed 10 errors this season, including one that cost Clayton Kershaw a perfect game and has a -0.9 DWAR. Ramirez also has the lowest range factor rating (3.94) among qualified National League shortstops.
However, the crushing error Ramirez committed in the game against the Colorado Rockies was his last and he showed better mobility when the Dodgers were in San Diego as part of their six-game road trip.
If Ramirez is placed on the DL, Rojas and Triunfel would be more than capable in handling the duties at shortstop. Both are regarded as having strong gloves and a coinciding move to Ramirez going on the DL could be the return of Erisbel Arruebarrena, who is another infielder that can pick it.
The Dodgers have made a concerted effort in filling out the depth of their middle infield in a move that’s proven beneficial as the 30-year-old Ramirez has battled various injuries this season.
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