Hanley Ramirez doesn't want to return to the disabled list.
That much was evident Friday night, when a stiff left leg forced Ramirez to make an eighth-inning departure from the Dodgers’ 12-inning, 3-2 loss to the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
“I’m assuming he’s going to be sore tomorrow,” Manager Don Mattingly said. “I hope it’s not an injury.”
Ramirez tumbled on the basepaths as he rounded first base on a sixth-inning single to center field. He hobbled back to first base — a video review determined he was tagged out when he hopped on the bag — where he dropped to his knees and clutched his left leg.
Mattingly visited Ramirez, as did a trainer. Ramirez tested his leg by jogging down the right-field line, said something to Mattingly and remained in the game.
Ramirez was able to limp around the bases for his eighth-inning home run, but couldn't do any more. Miguel Rojas replaced him at shortstop in the bottom of the eighth inning.
“When I first went out there, he was talking about his quad,” Mattingly said. “Then, it seemed like it kind of went up the leg, more in the groin, side of the leg.”
So Ramirez's season-long troubles continue, even on a day when he had three hits.
Ramirez will be a free agent this winter, but his production has been limited by various physical ailments. The former batting champion is batting .276 with 12 home runs and 60 runs batted in.
He avoided the disabled list until this month, when he was sidelined for 15 days with a strained side muscle.
Ramirez isn't the only player to look visibly frustrated these days.
Yasiel Puig's frustrations reached a point in which Mattingly decided to bench the All-Star outfielder.
Puig started the day 0 for his last 18. With Puig one for 11 in his career against hard-throwing Padres starter Andrew Cashner, Mattingly decided to hold him out of the lineup.
When Puig didn't play Saturday against the New York Mets, Mattingly made it a point to say he wasn't in the lineup because he looked fatigued in recent days.
That wasn't the case here.
"I think it's more of a frustration day," Mattingly said.
Puig is still batting .300 — he struck out in a seventh-inning pinch-hit at-bat Friday — but has hit only two home runs in his last 75 games.
"We do forget this is his first full season playing," Mattingly said. "He's kind of high-profile at this point. He doesn't get a chance to really step back. We're trying to get him a little extra time to step back and settle down a little bit."
Mattingly said Puig's emotions work against him over the course of a long season.
"I think Yasiel is really emotional," Mattingly said. "It's hard to be really emotional and play 162. You can't play with that fire mentality. You like that fire mentality, but …"
Then again, Puig's flair is what made him a main attraction.
"I agree with you on that," Mattingly said. "The way he plays, people love seeing. It's that childhood, kind of Little League, almost, approach to baseball, which is fine, which is great. That's he just excited about playing. But with that, you still have to figure out a way out how to keep it somewhat level."
Mattingly pointed to Dee Gordon as a dynamic player who learned how to be more consistent.
"With Dee, we see more of a day-in, day-out mentality," Mattingly said. "You see him stay patient. You see him stay with his approach. His routine out here is pretty solid now. I think that's part of that process."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times