Don Mattingly Views Hanley Ramirez’s Return As Positive

[new_royalslider id=”299″] As expected, Hanley Ramirez was reinstated prior to the Los Angeles Dodgers series finale against the New York Mets Sunday.

Ramirez found himself in hot water after he fielded a ground ball in the third inning and threw short to first base. The official scorekeeper initially charged Ramirez with an error, but it was later changed and given to Adrian Gonzalez.

Regardless of who it ultimately fell on, it cost the Dodgers as the next batter hit a two-run home run; the Mets’ second home run in the inning. Batting fifth in the lineup, Ramirez went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Manager Don Mattingly discussed the importance of Ramirez being back in the Dodgers’ lineup, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:

It changes the lineup from the standpoint of the length of it and the number of guys you have to go through just to navigate it,” Mattingly said. “He’s a dangerous guy in that lineup, so it’s good to have him back.”

Although Ramirez didn’t provide much offensively in his first game back and has struggled to consistently produce, Mattingly pointed to the shortstop’s track record of hitting well late and in the postseason:

We know what he’s capable of doing, in September and when you get into the playoffs.”

During the Dodgers run into the playoffs last year, Ramirez was arguably the hottest hitter in baseball. He continued to swing a hot bat in the National League Division Series, going 8-for-16 with one home run, one triple and four doubles.

This season has been a different story for the free-agent-to-be. Ramirez’s inability to remain healthy has affected his timing at the plate and he’s yet to resemble the same feared hitter he was in the latter stages of the 2013 season.

While Ramirez has fought an uphill battle this season, he claims to at last be pain-free and Mattingly intends to have him in the lineup for the final 30 regular-season games.

Ramirez is batting .274 with 12 home runs and 58 RBIs in 101 games played.
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