It’s much easier nearly three years later for for Andre Ethier to put a positive spin on the flexible splint he wore on his injured hand, the identical apparatus Hanley Ramirez began using Saturday in his return from thumb surgery.
This much wasn’t positive: Ethier missed 16 games with a broken pinkie finger on his right hand in 2010, returning to hit .248 with one home run in his next 29 games. Ramirez, who had surgery after tearing a tendon in his thumb March 19, is returning three weeks ahead of schedule with the aid of a splint on his right hand.
“It inhibits some of your movement, but sometimes that can be a good thing,” Ethier said. “It makes you shorten up your swing. You become a little bit more selective because you know you can’t reach or have the strength in certain positions to hit a ball.”
Etiher, a left-hander, wore the splint on his bottom hand at the plate while Ramirez, a right-handed hitter, will wear it on the top hand. Ramirez, unlike Ethier, will wear the splint on his throwing hand while playing shortstop.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was curious enough about the splint to try it on himself. But how did it feel?
“Not that good, honestly,” Mattingly said. “I wanted to see how it felt to throw with it. It’s awkward and that’s what Hanley’s been saying.”