Hanley Ramirez Injury: Updates on Dodgers Star's Hand and Return

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIApril 17, 2014

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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:

Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com had when Ramirez expects to return to the lineup:

Original Text

Los Angeles Dodgers star shortstop Hanley Ramirez exited Wednesday's National League West showdown with the San Francisco Giants in the seventh inning after being hit by a pitch on his left hand.

Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com reported the news, as Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong's delivery struck an enraged Ramirez:

Dodgers host Alanna Rizzo had an encouraging update later on:

Ramirez also offered this vote of optimism per the Dodgers' Twitter account:

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:

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.

"I think I'm stronger and I've got to stay on top of it, and by exercising I'll be fine," said Ramirez, per Ken Gurnick for MLB.com. "I feel the difference right away. Now, it's perfect."

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.