For the sixth time in seven games, shortstop Hanley Ramirez will not be in the starting lineup Tuesday night when the Dodgers play the Cleveland Indians at Dodger Stadium.
Ramirez is recovering from a variety of injuries. The original injury, a sore shoulder, caused him to miss four games. Then in his first game back, he exited with a left calf injury after only one at-bat.
Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said he expected Ramirez to rejoin the lineup before the All-Star break, which begins July 14.
“Hanley is getting better, and this is not a situation where I expect him to pinch-hit through the break, let’s put it that way,” Mattingly said. “I expect him to be able to play before we get into the All-Star break, and he’s getting better every day, but we are still going to be cautious with what we do with him."
The 30-year-old Ramirez is hitting .272, and his 11 home runs are tied for second-most on the team. He walked as a pinch-hitter in Monday’s win over Cleveland, but was then replaced by a pinch-runner. Tuesday’s game will be much of the same, according to Mattingly.
“We were able to use him last night, and we will kind of do the same routine today,” he said. “We’ll work on him inside and he’ll get loose as the game goes on. I expect to be able to use him in a similar fashion.”
Mattingly also said Ramirez isn’t a candidate to hit the disabled list.
“If there was a DL possibility we wouldn’t be using him, because every day pushes him another day forward,” he said. “At this point, we don’t think it is a possibility. Anything can happen I guess, it could go backward, but at this point we don’t think so.”
Another Dodger might be back in the lineup soon. Outfielder Carl Crawford, whose recovery from an ankle injury he suffered May 28 has taken longer than expected, could start playing in rehabilitation games with triple-A Albuquerque as soon as this weekend.
“Carl is doing really well,” Mattingly said. “He’s been running the bases, hitting outside, and if everything continues on this path, we feel like this weekend at some point he’ll be playing in some games and will probably go to Albuquerque.”
Infielder Chone Figgins, meanwhile, might be a little further away. The 36-year-old has been on the disabled list since June 14 with a strained left quadriceps.
“Figgins is getting better,” Mattingly said. “He’s doing more on the field, you’ll see him taking ground balls and throwing and those things, but he’s still a ways away. That quad is an injury that is one of the bigger muscles in the leg, and he’s going to be a little bit, still, but he’s definitely on the road to recovery.”Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times