(AP)Slugger Hanley Ramirez needs surgery to repair a right thumb injury, and he will be lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers for eight weeks, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. Ramirez suffered the injury diving for a ground ball in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic at San Francisco on Tuesday. Ramirez reportedly had an MRI back in Arizona on Wednesday night. Surgery happens Friday.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports had the scoop on the surgery, which will fix a torn ligament.
Dee Gordon is the top backup at short, even though he has been nursing a slightly sprained ankle. The roster also includes Jerry Hairston, Nick Punto, Skip Schumaker and Juan Uribe as backup infielders. All but Schumaker have varying experience and ability at short. Ramirez also was the backup for Luis Cruz at third base.
UPDATE: Hernandez tweets that manager Don Mattingly "doesn't know" if Ramirez will be the shortstop when he returns. It probably will depend on how Cruz is doing at third, how well Gordon is playing and how Ramirez takes to short on defense during rehab.
The team reportedly had been unhappy that Ramirez wasn't playing shortstop for the Dominican Republic in the WBC, but it's the sort of injury that could happen anywhere in the infield. The good news: During rehab, Ramirez will be able to get plenty of reps at short before coming back. It's just one of those injuries the Dodgers will have to weather. There's no emergency replacement to buy or trade for. Gordon has seven stolen bases in Cactus League play so far, in case you're looking for a fantasy baseball angle.
The Dodgers have gotten other good news recently: Right-hander Zack Greinke says he is over discomfort in his right elbow. And rookie Cuban curiosity Yasiel Puig continues to kill the ball.
This is the third significant injury recently for a top infielder in the NL. David Wright of the Mets pulled a rib muscle, also at the WBC, and Chase Headley of the Padres suffered a fractured thumb running the bases. Wright is hopeful to return opening day, but Headley is scheduled to miss up to six weeks.
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[Editor's note: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said that Puig "probably will be getting more reps at third base." He's an outfielder and that's it.]
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