Hanley Ramirez makes visible progress, still days away from playing the field.

Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez took ground balls at shortstop, threw, and took batting practice before Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday. (Associated Press)

Hanley Ramirez took ground balls, threw from the deep shortstop hole to first base, and also took an encouraging round of batting practice before Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was Ramirez’s most visible sign of progress since he jammed his right shoulder last Sunday in Chicago.

After batting practice, Ramirez told reporters that he is still experiencing some discomfort in the shoulder. Today marks seven days since Ramirez suffered the injury. During that time he’s been limited to a single pinch-hitting appearance Friday, in which he struck out against Rays left-hander David Price.

Judging by the way the ball jumped off his bat and into the left and right-field bleacher seats in batting practice, Ramirez’s hitting stroke is game-ready. However, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said it would be “a couple days at least” until Ramirez starts a game at shortstop.

The Dodgers had been hoping he would be able to throw by Friday, but that was put off until today. Dee Gordon is starting at shortstop and hitting eighth.

“We’ve missed him six days and we’re 5-1,” Mattingly said. “We’ve been able to survive it so far. If it ends up being 10 (days) it still saves us five” days if Ramirez was on the disabled list.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.