“It’s just going to be a matter if he can swing the bat or not, and that’s what we’re kind of trying to get him loose now. He’ll try to swing here … I think around 2 o’clock they were talking about, and we’ll have to make a decision from there.”
Update: Ramirez said prior to the game that he will play, wearing protective gear “like a running back.”
“I owe too much to this team and this city” not to play, he added.
Ramirez participated in a mostly normal pregame routine. He stretched with teammates in left field, but did not take part in plyometrics drills — side-to-side shuffling — or light jogging. Ramirez was back on the field to take ground balls at shortstop with third-base coach Tim Wallach handling the fungo bat. Though he took ground balls to both his right and left, Ramirez was moving at less than full speed. He made one impressive throw after fielding a ball to his right on the run, then spinning and throwing to first base in the same motion. Ramirez also participated in long toss in the outfield.
Later, Ramirez joined his group for a round of batting practice. He hit several line drives, one off the center-field fence, and a pair of home runs to center field. He did not appear to be in pain after leaving the cage.
Here is a partial look at Ramirez’s batting practice session:
The Dodgers have taken extra precaution to guard against Ramirez exacerbating the injury in the field.
“We’ve had people in from different places,” Mattingly said. “I’ve talked to the NFL, different paddings and shirts, NFL running backs wear. There is all kinds of stuff going on here in the last 48 hours with Hanley and trying to protect that from those type of things, from the bumps and the bruises part of it.
“But all the padding in the world doesn’t stop that from you being able to either swing or not swing. That is the area that we’re going to have to cross.”
Ramirez was hit by a 95-mph fastball from St. Louis pitcher Joe Kelly in the first inning Friday. He played the remainder of Game 1, a 3-2, 13-inning loss. Nick Punto was the shortstop Saturday in the Dodgers’ 1-0 loss in Game 2. The Dodgers announced that x-rays on Ramirez’s ribs came back negative, which Mattingly re-affirmed on Monday.
Here is a picture, posted to the Dodgers’ official Twitter account, of the protective vest Ramirez is wearing: