Bothered by injuries that have taken him in and out of the lineup at various points this season, Hanley Ramirez has failed to meet the standard he set last season.
Since returning Aug. 24 from an oblique strain that forced him to the disabled list, Ramirez has gone 4-for-35 (.114) with one home run and two RBIs in nine games. The shortstop is also in the final year of his contract and given his troubles, negotiations have been put off until after the season ends.
According to Bill Plaschke of the LA Times, general manager Ned Colletti believes the pending free agency is on Ramirez’s mind:
He’s been hurt a few times, it’s hard when you stop and start … and he’s got many other things he’s thinking about, including the contractual situation,” Colletti said. “We all keep waiting for the day he gets out of it.”
Colletti isn’t the first to share the belief Ramirez was thinking about his contract; manager Don Mattingly expressed the same sentiment in July. Mattingly has since said he believes Ramirez is pressing and trying to do too much.
It was rumored earlier in the season Ramirez was seeking a new deal north of $130 million, however that was before his season was beset by hand, calf and right shoulder issues.
Mattingly called the shortstop the catalyst of the team and despite his inability to get going, the Dodgers have played to 16 games over .500 and first place in the National League West standings.
For his part, Ramirez has stated he isn’t concerned by his contractual status. Ramirez is hitting .262 with 13 home runs and 60 RBIs in 109 games, which is more than he played in last season.
Team president Stan Kasten expressed hope Ramirez would turn his season around as the Dodgers make their push into the postseason. The 30 year old has 22 games remaining in the regular season to make an impact for the Dodgers.
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