José Ramírez (left hand) day to day
CLEVELAND — At this time last year, the Indians were in a close Wild Card race without their hot-hitting third baseman, as José Ramírez fractured his hamate bone at the end of August and was unable to return to the team until the final week of the regular season. Now,
CLEVELAND — At this time last year, the Indians were in a close Wild Card race without their hot-hitting third baseman, as José Ramírez fractured his hamate bone at the end of August and was unable to return to the team until the final week of the regular season. Now, they’re hoping that they can avoid a similar situation in 2020.
Ramírez was pulled from Monday’s 5-2 victory over the Royals with left thumb discomfort. He underwent an MRI on Tuesday, which revealed only bruising in his left hand. Though the Tribe kept him out of the lineup for the second game against Kansas City, the team seemed optimistic that he wouldn’t miss significant time.
“Ramírez is doing OK,” Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said. “He’s just day to day at this point. He’s obviously not in the lineup tonight, but we’ll reassess things tomorrow.”
Antonetti specified that Ramírez’s current injury is more muscle-related. The third baseman has been dealing with discomfort in his left thumb over the past month, but he has insisted he remain in the lineup every day. Indians temporary manager Sandy Alomar Jr. stated many times that a Ramírez at 50% is still a productive force in their lineup. But on Monday, the pain may have become too much.
“It’s just a nagging thing that’s going over and over,” Alomar said after Monday’s game. “I think it’s kind of wearing him out mentally, in my opinion. [On Monday], he felt it again, and we made the decision to pull him out of the game just to give him a chance to recuperate.”
Assuming this only a one- or two-day problem like the team expects, the Indians will use Mike Freeman at third. Should it continue for a more extended period of time, the club has options in Yu Chang and Nolan Jones at the alternate training site in Lake County, Ohio.
Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.