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Dodgers await diagnosis about Ramirez's thumb

The SportsXchange

Hanley Ramirez's right thumb injury leaves the Los Angeles Dodgers with an uncertain situation at shortstop.

The veteran infielder jammed his right thumb Tuesday while playing for the Dominican Republic in the final of the World Baseball Classic. He was due to undergo an MRI exam in Arizona on Wednesday, and the Dodgers were awaiting news of the severity of the injury.

According to manager Don Mattingly, Ramirez might be back after as little time as two weeks (which would be just after Opening Day), or he could be sidelined for two-plus months.

"They've painted both pictures, and it's a pretty big window," Mattingly told reporters. "We're guessing. They're going from a guy coming out of a big game, to a guy who also stayed in the game and had a single. Until the MRI, we're guessing. He could be feeling great, we don't know. We're concerned enough to get an MRI. He's coming out of a game, a pretty big game -- guys don't want to come out of those."

Should Ramirez be unavailable, Luis Cruz likely would move to shortstop. Cruz was penciled in to be the Dodgers' third baseman, but he saw action at both positions last year.

Third base options would include Nick Punto, Jerry Hairston and Juan Uribe. Shortstop Dee Gordon also might make the team should Ramirez be sidelined, though Gordon is nursing a minor left ankle sprain.

Ramirez, who started last season as the Miami Marlins' third baseman, moved back to shortstop when the Dodgers acquired him in a July trade. The 29-year-old veteran hit a combined .257 with a .322 on-base percentage, a .437 slugging percentage, 24 homers and 92 RBI in 157 games in 2012.
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