Looking at the ramifications of Dodgers losing Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez will have surgery Friday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb and is expected to be sidelined for the first two months of the regular season.
(Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images)

So been outta action awhile – and don’t even pretend you haven’t noticed – but now that Hanley Ramirez and I are about to have so much in common, I am bravely attempting to drag myself back to the keyboard.

Every single letter I type just for you causes excruciating pain. OK, maybe not excruciating but discomforting. Would you settle for crazy awkward?

A couple weeks ago I managed to snap the distal biceps tendon off my right forearm’s radius bone. Just all kinds of fun. Medical wizard I am, didn’t even know the biceps attached to the forearm. Dr. David Kim reattached it last week, and things seemed to go well, you know, considering it’s not exactly the tendon of an 18-year-old. Which did seem to surprise Dr. Kim.


Now I have this terrific L-shaped splint on my am and in order to place my hand on the keyboard, I have to sort of point my elbow to the heavens. All typos, misspelled names, incorrect stats and simple poor English must now be forgiven for the next three months. Or however long it takes for my over 18-year-old tendon to grow back to the bone.

That’s a little longer than Ramirez will need to have his thumb ligament all hunky-dory after his surgery, though I suspect the Dodgers may be just a tad more concerned over his thumb than my biceps.

He tore the ligament in the final game of the WBC diving for a ball. Could have happened anywhere, anytime and is hardly reason to bemoan the tournament. At least Ramirez has finally won something.

Ramirez and me, brothers under the knife. But before we start comparing surgical scars, the Dodgers are going to suddenly have to come up with a Plan B for the left side of their infield, not to mention a No. 5 hitter.

The Dodgers’ first option is to move Luis Cruz from third back to shortstop, which is mostly a good thing. If that plan does hold, when Ramirez does return in a couple months, it would likely be at third base. Which is what most have been asking all along.

But there are all kinds of potential trouble here. The Dodgers were already rolling the dice a bit with Cruz, hoping his unexpected 2012 season at age 28 was the real deal. They already had to be prepared to make a change on the left side of the infield if he faltered.

Now if he does, they could have two holes to fill. Other options are not exciting, at least over a two-month period. The Dodgers essentially have a choice between playing Dee Gordon at shortstop or moving Cruz and playing a Juan Uribe/Jerry Hairston Jr./Nick Punto combo at third. Hairston is already the primary backup in left should Carl Crawford and his rebuilt elbow is not ready to go.

Yep, ain’t baseball grand? Juan Uribe, productive as a bunion and the guy most had pegged as an $8-milllion-eating contract, could be your Dodgers’ opening-day third baseman.

Gordon disappointed at the plate and on the field last season, and it’s hard to imagine that’s the direction they will go. Still, none of the current options are exactly grand, so everything’s on the table the next two months.

Hopefully after Friday, just not the operating kind.


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