Hanley Ramirez was supposed to be out for the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight, making it five straight games missed for the All-Star shortstop. But something happened that turned the bad news into good news because now suddenly Ramirez is back in.
Ramirez had missed the Dodgers’ previous four games with a calf strain, and there were worried that he might be headed to the DL. In the meantime, highly-touted Cuban defector Erisbel Arruebarrena had been filling in at short for L.A.
So how did Ramirez suddenly get back into the lineup just hours after reportedly being scratched? Did that calf strain suddenly feel a whole lot better? Was Ramirez’s sudden, miraculous recovery spurred on by the presence of Arruebarrena, a guy some people think should be moved into the shortstop spot permanently?
The Dodgers might not be all that thrilled to have Ramirez back. Defense has been such an issue for the Dodgers and Arruebarrena is just a flat-out better defensive player than Ramirez. Hanley is more valuable for his bat, but sometimes you’re better off sacrificing a little offense for a little defense.
The Dodgers pitching staff might prefer having the defensive shortstop back there instead of Ramirez. Maybe Hanley has been hearing some whispers and wanted to get back out there as quickly as possible.
I’m not sure playing with a bad calf is the greatest idea, but give Hanley credit for trying to tough it out, whatever his motivation might be.