GLENDALE, Arizona – The dominos are beginning to fall in the Dodgers infield now that shortstop Hanley Ramirez will be sidelined at least two months with a thumb injury.
Initially it appeared a window opened for Dee Gordon to sneak back into the picture as the regular shortstop, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly’s first inclination is to slide Luis Cruz from third base to short instead.
When asked Friday if he was disappointed to hear that, Gordon just shrugged it off.
“That ain’t got nothing to do with me, that’s him,” Gordon said. “He’s the manager, I’m just here to play. Whatever he tells me to do I do. If he doesn’t tell me to go out there I don’t. If he tells me I’m part of the nine I’ll go out there and do my thing.”
Cruz, meanwhile, is open to a move back to his natural position after playing third the last two years.
“I just want to be a part of the team and to help the team,” Cruz said.
With 10 days remaining in spring training, though, things can change. And for Gordon that means there is still time to play his way into an every day job – although he steered clear of saying Ramirez’s injury opened a door for him.
“Like I’ve been telling you guys all spring, I’ve just been playing,” Gordon said. “I can’t go off what happened to Hanley, I’m just trying to make the team on my own. I’m just here to play, whatever they need me to do.”
This spring marks the second go-around for Alfredo Amezaga in the Dodgers organization. You’re forgiven for not remembering the first.
Amezaga signed a minor-league contract with the Dodgers in Feb. 2010, less than a year removed from major knee surgery. He didn’t play in spring training. He didn’t play in the regular season either, save for one game at Double-A Chattanooga. Amezaga spent nearly the entire season on the disabled list and became a free agent in October.
Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley confirmed that he’ll pitch in a minor-league game Saturday at Camelback Ranch.
Billingsley bruised the index finger on his pitching hand six days ago in a bunting drill but came back to throw a pain-free bullpen session Wednesday. His last Cactus League start was March 7 against the Texas Rangers. His last start of any sort came in a five-inning simulated game against minor leaguers on March 13, when Billingsley threw 78 pitches.
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez will have surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right thumb Friday in Los Angeles, the team announced. He is expected to miss eight weeks, which projects to May 17, the Dodgers’ 39th game of the season.
“It’s bad,” he said. “But it’s something that I can’t control. It could have happened anywhere. It could have happened here. Unfortunately it happened at the WBC. It’s very disappointing.”
Dr. Steve Shin, a sports medicine hand specialist at Kerlan Jobe, will perform the surgery. Ramirez will have his thumb immobilized for 3 weeks.