The constant struggle that is the health of Hanley Ramirez might finally end up with a stint on the disabled list. The Los Angeles Dodgers scratched Ramirez from the lineup again on Sunday, this time with a sore calf, and manager Don Mattingly acknowledged that the disabled list is a possibility for the shortstop.
Ramirez had missed games this past week with a sore shoulder. That situation was apparently resolved before the return of Ramirez’s calf injury this weekend, an injury that kept him out earlier this season. Here is what Mattingly had to said about the situation on Sunday (quotes from MLB.com):
“I’m sure that would be part of the discussion moving forward, if he’s not able to do anything for a while,” he said. “Do you take that time and say, ‘OK maybe he’s going to be ready to play in five to six days?’ Or do you go ahead and take the 15 and get him to the All-Star break totally healthy, hopefully. I think that’s just the balance.”
There are two important threads to this story line for the Dodgers. On the one hand they have to consider their options to keep a contending team on the field this season if Ramirez continues to struggle to stay healthy. They also have considerations beyond this season to keep in mind. Ramirez is a free agent at season’s end, and the tumult of this season can’t be helping his case for a long-term extension.
Ramirez was a key reason for Los Angeles’s success last season. He still has time to help in 2014, but so far things have been a struggle, making his short and long term future with the Dodgers a bit murky.