With only two games remaining before the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Dodgers are limping to the midway point of the season.
Chone Figgins and Justin Turner remain on the disabled list with their respective injuries and they were recently joined by Josh Beckett and Ersibel Arruebarrena. None of the injuries to the four players are believed to be serious, but they are nonetheless a concern.
Not on the DL, but dealing with their own physical ailments are Andre Ethier and Hanley Ramirez. Manager Don Mattingly left Ethier out of the starting lineup Thursday and Friday with the hope of getting him rest that will aid his tired legs.
As for Ramirez, the Dodgers’ driving force last season and injury-prone shortstop this season, it’s unlikely he’ll start in either of the two games before the break because of a nagging shoulder injury.
Ramirez put on a helmet twice in Friday’s loss, but never made a pinch-hit appearance. Mattingly has previously stated the shoulder inflammation is an issue the shortstop has previously dealt with, but was uncertain if it would continue to limit Ramirez moving forward, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
I hope not. But we just kind of deal with what we get on a daily basis or a weekly basis, do the best we can with it and go from there.”
Various bumps and bruises have cost Ramirez 12 games this season and a handful of others where he was limited to pinch-hit duty. While Ramirez hasn’t been close to the same player he was last season, Mattingly is content with what the Dodgers have received:
He’s been good,” Mattingly said. “He’s still on a pace to drive in like 90 runs, so it’s not like we’ve got a guy that we’re not getting production out of.”
Ramirez shared a similar sentiment when recently questioned about his drop in production. He argued his hot hitting in 2013 set an expectation that though he isn’t reaching, doesn’t correlate to him not being productive.
Along with Beckett, the 30-year-old shortstop may have the most to gain from the upcoming time off considering he’s in the final year of his contract. Following the All-Star break, the Dodgers will play 12 games in 14 days, including a nine-game road trip.
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