Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hanley to have Surgery - Who Becomes Our Savior?

As I'm sure you all know by now, Hanley Ramirez ended the Dominican Republic's WBC victory tour with a cast on his right thumb.  We all thought that his jammed thumb was just sprained, in hopes that he can join the team for Opening Day this season.  Of course, the Baseball gods had something else in mind.  We find out from Ken Rosenthal on twitter that the Dodgers are looking at the worse-case scenario.
(twitter link: @Ken_Rosenthal)

So, he'll have surgery tomorrow, rehabilitation for several weeks, and have an expected return date in late-May (possibly early June if a rehab assignment becomes the first move). 
(pic credit: Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2013)

This sure does complicate things.  All the banter about Hanley not playing SS during the WBC has been all for naught.  Instead, he sits on the pine as the Dodgers try to shuffle their lineup to make up for the offensive loss this injury creates.  It's likely that Luis Cruz moves to SS, and one of Nick Punto, Jerry Hairston Jr. or Juan Uribe take over at 3rd.  Heck, if that doesn't work out then maybe Dee Gordon steps in at SS with one of the 4 above playing 3rd.  Fortunately, we have these players waiting in the wings, but they are unlikely to provide the kind of offensive punch we would have had with Hanley Ramirez.  He was having a torrid Spring and looked to have his old swing back.  Now, he'll have to start over again in hopes that he can regain that spark that made fans believe he was back.

On a side note, this accident may be the opportunity both Uribe and Dee Gordon were looking for.  Can they regain their footing and prove to us all that they are legitimate MLB everyday players?  After all, this may very well be their last chance in Dodger Blue.

For my money, I would bet that Juan Uribe proves his worth.  I'll take the plaudits he's received lately and cross my fingers that Mark McGwire has fixed him.

It's too bad Yasiel Puig isn't a 3rd baseman.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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