Hanley Ramirez was held out of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ final three games before the All-Star break due to his ailing right shoulder, which has resulted in the shortstop receiving two injections as part of treatment.
Ramirez has been in the lineup in the two games out of the break, but doesn’t exactly appear recovered — he’s 2-for-8 with one RBI and three strikeouts.
According to Bill Plaschke of the LA Times, manager Don Mattingly believes the shoulder may be an issue Ramirez will have to contend with for the rest of the season:
I think, Hanley, his shoulder definitely affects him, to be honest with you,” Mattingly said. “I think he’s going to be battling as the year goes on with that thing.”
Shoulder, calf, thumb and hand injuries have cost Ramirez 14 full games this season and limited in a handful of others. The Dodgers were on the verge of placing him on the 15-day disabled list before Ramirez was able to get through a pre-game workout and went on to play in the next six of seven games.
Ramirez has made it known the DL is not for him and indicated he would continue pushing forward:
I’m not the guy who wants to sit on the bench, I can’t watch the game from the bench,” Ramirez said. “I’m going to keep playing until my arm falls off.”
Entering Sunday, the 30-year-old shortstop is hitting .274 with 11 home runs and 49 RBIs. It hasn’t been a complete failure for Ramirez, but there’s a noticeable drop off in his statistics from last season.
When questioned on his decline in production, Ramirez said he’s fallen victim to his own success in 2013. He argued with the standard he set, astronomical numbers are required to silence his critics.
Ramirez can erase the negative memories from this season if he’s able to recapture some of the magic his bat carried last season. Although the Dodgers have suffered two consecutive losses and fallen out of first place in the division, there’s plenty of baseball left to be played.
The question of course, is how much of it Ramirez will be able to be part of.
Dodgers Pull “Hot Foot” Prank On Scott Van Slyke