An MRI on shortstop Hanley Ramirez’s left hamstring revealed nothing more than a strain, but the team has set his timetable for his recovery at four to six weeks.
That projects to somewhere between May 31 and June 14, a minimum of 24 games missed from the time of the injury.
Ramirez pulled up lame running the bases Friday against the San Francisco Giants, his fourth game back after missing the first 24 games of the season with a torn ligament in his right thumb.
The Dodgers have been using Dee Gordon exclusively since Ramirez’s injury.
This conference on the mound in the fourth inning didn’t help Josh Beckett (third from right). It merely delayed the inevitable in the Dodgers’ 7-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies, a game that lasted 3 hours, 54 minutes. (John McCoy/Staff Photographer)
You got the sense that Josh Beckett could live with the smaller strike zone imposed by home plate umpire Larry Vanover tonight. Beckett could even live with the three runs he allowed in the first inning, maybe because he didn’t want to throw his shortstop, Hanley Ramirez, under the bus for committing an error that left him pitching out of the stretch one batter into the game.
No, there were other things happened tonight specifically, and this season in general, that Beckett has not made peace with.
Chris Capuano continued to throw Monday at Dodger Stadium and is expected to start for the Albuquerque Isotopes on Wednesday. It’s the only rehab start Capuano is expected to make before he is activated from the disabled list. The left-hander strained his left calf covering first base on April 16.
Zack Greinke threw off flat ground from approximately 90-100 feet Monday as he continued his rehab from a fractured left clavicle. The right-hander said he’s still “just a little bit” sore 16 days after undergoing surgery to have a stabilizing metal plate inserted in the area of the clavicle: “I’m a little achy here and there.”
Greinke hasn’t swung a bat yet, saying “it’s not worth the risk,” and even cracked a joke about his swing. “It was already bad.”
Second baseman Mark Ellis is no closer to playing in a game, or being placed on the disabled list, since straining his right quadriceps on Friday. Ellis jogged a little bit Monday, said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who’s willing to play short-handed for now.
“We’ve played short before,” Mattingly said. “You can do it. Sometimes you may get 10 games. We just need to be creative and be careful with players early in the game. You can’t burn guys.”
Reinstating Hanley Ramirez from the 15-day disabled list Monday gave the Dodgers an extra infielder off the bench for Monday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies.
With Ellis, Mattingly said, “it’s more of a medical decision than a baseball decision right now.”
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez might play his first regular-season game of 2013 tonight against the Colorado Rockies. (Keith Birmingham/Staff photographer)
The Dodgers placed pitcher Clayton Kershaw
on the bereavement list and reinstated Hanley Ramirez
from the disabled list prior to Monday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies.
Ramirez was expected to be activated at some point during the Dodgers’ three-game series against the Rockies when he showed up at Dodger Stadium Monday. He pronounced himself fit to play before heading off to field ground balls and take a round of batting practice, a normal pregame routine.
Kershaw left immediately after Sunday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers and did not take questions from reporters.
I could have written a lot more about Clayton Kershaw for my game story from the Dodgers’ win yesterday but I didn’t (mostly) for two reasons:
1. As great as he was, Kershaw pitches like that all the time
2. He didn’t talk to reporters after the game
Kershaw’s absence was due to a “personal matter,” a team spokesperson said. As Kershaw walked down the tunnel out of the Dodgers’ clubhouse, his left shoulder appeared to be heavily wrapped under his shirt — as it typically is after each game Kershaw pitches — which merely means that the pitcher wasted little time leaving the building.
More on Kershaw in a bit. I’m highlighting the point about his shoulder because this tweet caused a bit of a stir yesterday:
Underneath that wrap was a still-healing ligament in Ramirez’s right thumb. It’s easy to assume that the hand was wrapped because Ramirez re-injured the thumb. Folks at the game said that he slid awkwardly into second base in the fifth inning. Did he do something to his thumb sliding?
Probably not. Ramirez remained in the game to play another inning in the field after the slide. He was removed in the top of the seventh inning, which is exactly when the Dodgers wanted him to leave. It’s believed that Ramirez wrapped his thumb after the game merely as a precaution, much like a pitcher who just threw 117 pitches wraps a healthy shoulder.
More Monday bullet points:
The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes won’t be eating as well tomorrow as they have the past two days. That much is certain.
As for when rehabbing shortstop Hanley Ramirez — who foot the bill on the Quakes’ clubhouse spread this weekend — will return to the Dodgers, that’s less certain. It might come as early as tomorrow, when the Dodgers host the Colorado Rockies.
“I think anything’s possible, the way he looked last night,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Hanley Ramirez will play his first rehabilitation game tomorrow with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Dodgers’ Single-A affiliate, the Dodgers’ shortstop confirmed on Twitter this afternoon.
The assignment was contingent on Ramirez emerging healthy from a pregame routine that included taking ground balls at shortstop, playing catch in the outfield from approximately 100 feet — the longest he’s thrown since having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb March 22 — and taking part in a round of batting practice.
Apparently, Ramirez made it out OK.
Speaking earlier today on “Ripken Baseball,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told Cal and Billy Ripken on SiriusXM that Hanley Ramirez will play this weekend.
Ramirez has been taking ground balls and swinging a bat already, but hasn’t seen live game action since he tore a ligament in his right thumb in March. On Thursday, Ramirez indicated on his Twitter account that he would begin his rehabilitation assignment with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.
Here’s the entirety of Mattingly’s quote:
Don Mattingly’s contract is up at the end of the year, but does it really matter? (Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News)
What do Don Mattingly, Charlie Manuel, Jim Leyland and Ron Gardenhire have in common?
Answer: Mr. Burns would disapprove of their sideburns.
We also would have accepted that each has a contract that expires at the end of the season, as do six other managers, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark. That’s one-third of the league.
It does reflect a change in what once passed for conventional thinking: We can’t hang our manager out there on the last year of his deal. The players will walk all over him.
That may have been the theory once upon a time. But nowadays, says Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, “I think it’s something from out of the past that doesn’t exist in the present anymore. It’s one of those old things that was widely accepted — and then a lot of smart people said, ‘Why?’”
Truth is, many fans haven’t wrapped their heads around this concept yet. The intellectually lazy belief is that a cold seat becomes warm, a warm seat becomes hot, and a hot seat becomes scorching if the manager’s contract is up at the end of the year.
The relationship between each manager and his team is different, but many of the same hypotheses about Mattingly’s job security are probably being applied to Leyland, whose team won the American League pennant a year ago and whose plaque in Cooperstown may have been minted already (hopefully with a cigarette in Leyland’s mouth and missing only the logo on his hat).
After all the Tigers are only 10-10, or one fewer loss than the Dodgers.
Some bullet points to tide you through a Sierra Leone independence day weekend:
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.
On the day the Dodgers learned that Hanley Ramirez would miss the next eight weeks with a thumb injury, it’s worth noting where Amezaga suffered the injury that caused him to miss all but 31 games in a two-year span: The 2009 World Baseball Classic.