Updates from Friday, April 18
The Dodgers announced that Ramirez will return to the lineup on Friday:
Updates from Thursday, April 17
Hanley Ramirez is out of Thursday's lineup, the team confirmed on its Twitter account:
#Dodgers lineup at San Francisco: Gordon 2B Turner SS Puig RF Gonzalez 1B Kemp CF Van Slyke LF Uribe 3B Federowicz C Ryu P— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 17, 2014
Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com had when Ramirez expects to return to the lineup:
Hanley Ramirez said he expects to start Friday.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) April 17, 2014
Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com reported the news, as Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong's delivery struck an enraged Ramirez:
Hanley Ramirez hit by a pitch on his hand and he's angry.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) April 17, 2014
Left hand and he's coming out of the game.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) April 17, 2014
Dodgers host Alanna Rizzo had an encouraging update later on:
Ramirez also offered this vote of optimism per the Dodgers' Twitter account:
"I'm going to do everything I can to be in there tomorrow." -@HanleyRamirez— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 17, 2014
Before leaving the diamond for the evening at AT&T Park in San Francisco, Ramirez was 0-for-2 at the plate to drop his 2014 season average to .281. The 30-year-old veteran seems to have a hex upon him at the Giants' venue, as the Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin alluded to:
Hanley Ramirez at AT&T Park: broken thumb 3/19/13 (WBC), strained hamstring 5/3/13, left hand injury tonight.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) April 17, 2014
It did look like an extremely painful ordeal when Ramirez got hit, because he bounced quickly away from the box, clutching his hand and slamming his helmet to the ground. The frustration from Ramirez was evident, and it's difficult to blame him.
Entering spring training in February, the three-time All-Star felt confident that he'd be fit enough for the 2014 campaign.
Ramirez has been battling injuries in his brief stint with the Dodgers to date, which began in 2012. Last season, he played in just 86 games but was effective in the playoffs, hitting .323 with seven RBI in nine contests.
If Los Angeles is meant to have a chance to repeat as NL West champions, it would be a big help to have Ramirez healthy. The fact that the Dodgers fared so well without him in 2013 is a testament to the job manager Don Mattingly did and is continuing to do.
The hope is that this injury to Ramirez's hand isn't as serious as the thumb that kept him out of action for extended time. Should it be similar in severity, Mattingly will have to pick up the pieces and attempt to plug the void Ramirez might leave in the lineup.