Hanley Ramirez leads the Dodgers with a .342 batting average and a 1.024 OPS. (Getty Images)
Hanley Ramirez wasn’t at Dodger Stadium as his teammates filed out for batting practice Friday afternoon. The shortstop underwent an MRI exam on his left hamstring and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the results might be available later today.
Update (6:15 p.m.) The Dodgers announced that Ramirez has an irritated nerve in his back, which was directly causing the tightness in Ramirez’s hamstring. He received a cortisone injection in his back and is expected to be available to play next week.
Watch the video included with the story. I think it does a great job peeling back the curtain on the sort of shenanigans that go on inside the Dodgers’ clubhouse all the time — not just between Puig and Juan Uribe, and not just when the Hollywood Reporter is making a celebrity out of a baseball player.
Those kind of antics are often difficult for reporters to put into words, language barrier or not. Even when you quote the banter verbatim (here’s a good example from today betweenSkip Schumaker and Nick Punto), the light-hearted freneticness of the moment doesn’t always jump out of the page/computer screen in a way that screams “this team obviously has good chemistry.”
Dee Gordon went 2 for 4, with an infield single and a bunt hit, and committed three errors on Sunday. (David Crane/Staff photographer)
Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon went 2 for 4 Sunday. In the field, he ranged to his right to retire Evan Longoria on a tough play in the first inning and also started a double play.
If that was the end of his contribution to an 8-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, Gordon’s day would barely qualify as news. It’s not newsworthy when a one-time top prospect performs well in a substitute role. It’s also easy to overlook one standout performance in a game where Mark Ellis goes 3 for 5 with three RBIs, Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis get two hits, and Clayton Kershaw is his usual brilliant self.
But because Gordon also committed three errors Sunday, there was a sense of urgency — for Hanley Ramirez to return to the lineup and for the 25-year-old to stop making the inexplicable miscues that have kept him buried at Triple-A for much of the past three seasons. (Gordon has played 158 games for the Albuquerque Isotopes since 2011 and 166 for the Dodgers). Continue reading →
Nick Punto went flying in this collision with Angels runner Erick Aybar last night. It was a wacky game. (Associated Press photo)
The Dodgers’ 7-6 win last night broke the mold in many ways. Lost amid the doubles, the Matt Kemp boos and the blown call at first base, here are some factoids that I couldn’t fit in my game story:
- The Dodgers’ comeback matched their largest of the season; they beat the Diamondbacks on May 22 after trailing by five.
- Previously, the Dodgers were 0-15 when allowing six runs or more.
- The ninth inning remains a virtual all-or-nothing proposition. Say what you want about Brandon League as closer, but the Dodgers are 20-1 when leading at the start of the ninth inning. They are 0-23 when trailing to start the ninth.
- Adrian Gonzalez‘s six errors lead all major-league first baseman. Next is the New York Mets’ Ike Davis, with four. Gonzalez, who has won three Gold Glove awards, had a busy day. He also failed to pick a ball out of the dirt and pulled his foot off the bag on a throw from catcher Ramon Hernandez in the first inning. Yet he kept his foot on the bag despite a poor throw from Luis Cruz in the ninth inning, completing a double play.
Hanley Ramirez ran the bases at Dodger Stadium for the first time since straining his left hamstring on May 3 and is close to going out on a rehabilitation assignment.
“As we get through Anaheim, we’re talking about him playing some games the next few days,” Mattingly said.
Ramirez wrote on his Instagram account last week that he would be “coming soon” to Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.
The rehab process has been a frustrating one for Ramirez, who was only able to play four games after recovering enough from a torn ligament in his right thumb before suffering the hamstring injury.
Ramirez said last week that he will announce his assignment in some capacity on Twitter. Assuming he plays Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it’s conceivable that Ramirez could be in a Dodger uniform next week when the team play a 10-game home stand against San Diego, Atlanta and Arizona.
Nick Punto is starting at shortstop Monday against the Angels following the demotion of Dee Gordon to Triple-A Albuquerque. Punto and Luis Cruz figure to get the lion’s share of the innings at shortstop until Ramirez returns.
In fact, only five teams have gotten less out of the position than the Dodgers, in terms of offense, baserunning and defense. Mark Ellis (17), Nick Punto (10) and Skip Schumaker (6) are the only three Dodgers who have started games at second base this season.
The Dodgers’ best position, relatively speaking, is first base. Only the Reds and Tigers have gotten more WAR out of the position this season.
The chart has its limits. Take the Angels, for example. Add up their position-by-position WAR, and they should have the fourth-best team in baseball. In reality the Angels are 10 games under .500. The Baltimore Orioles are tied for first place in the American League East, yet their combined WAR ranks 21st in the majors.
Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis left Friday night’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers with a strained right quadriceps.
Ellis sustained the injury running out a routine ground ball in the fifth inning. He slowed up just before reaching first base, clutching the top of his right leg.
Ellis was replaced by Nick Punto and did not return to the game.
Although Ellis’ .991 fielding percentage at second base is fourth in baseball history, the Dodgers have some experienced defensive replacements on the bench. Jerry Hairston Jr. has 3,050 career chances at second base with a .981 fielding percentage. Punto has 1,332 chances at second base with a .983 fielding percentage.
It’s not immediately clear how much time Ellis will need to recuperate. Assuming he’s not available for more than a few games, the greater question facing the Dodgers is: Who will bat second?
Nick Punto gets his first start, Luis Cruz and Andre Ethier get their first day off, and Tim Federowicz gets his first start behind the plate when the Dodgers host the Pittsburgh Pirates to conclude their first homestand of the season.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had different reasons for each of the changes. Cruz, who is still searching for his first hit of the season after 19 plate appearances, “needs to put those behind him because he can’t change anything that happened in the first five games of the season,” Mattingly said.
“Hopefully he can see the forest because he was getting a little close to the trees, can’t see his way out.”
Juan Uribe will start at third base and bat sixth.