As the Dodgers prepare to play game 3 of the NLCS against the Cardinals, they may have to do it without shortstop Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers received the results of a CT scan this afternoon and have discovered that Hanley has a hairline fracture of the eighth rib. That is the result of being hit with a Joe Kelly fastball in the first inning of the opening game on Friday night. Hanley stayed in the game and played through it during game 1, but was unable to play in game 2. The Dodgers lost both games.
The doctors have told the Dodgers that Hanley can’t do any further damage to the injury by playing, and the decision of whether Hanley can play will be a game time decision.
The Dodgers only scored two runs during the first two games of the series, and haven’t scored in 19 consecutive innings. Now the team must beat the Cardinal’s ace Adam Wainwright tonight, possibly without their best hitter. The Dodgers have a .621 winning percentage with Hanley in the lineup, and a .481 winning percentage when he is out.
Hanley has only played in 86 games this season for the Dodgers because of a various multitude of injuries. Hanley has suffered a torn ligament in his thumb, a torn hamstring, and a bad back. According to various reports he still has to go through a variety of treatments before each game to get into playing shape because of his rusty back, and hamstring. Hanley posted a triple slash line of .345/.402/.638 with 20 home runs, and 57 runs driven in, in 336 plate appearances during the regular season. During the division series, Hanley batted .500 (8 for 16) with a home run, and six runs driven in.
Hanley has said that if he can tolerate the pain he will play. He also said he would do everything in his power to play tonight. The Dodgers are prepared to go with Nick Punto at shortstop if Hanley can’t go. The Dodgers also had Michael Young taking practice grounders at short before the game just in case. Young has had experience at shortstop and could be able to start in a pinch. The Cardinals have a 2-0 series lead over the Dodgers as the NLCS shifts to Dodger Stadium for games three, four, and five.
“I owe too much to this team and this city (not to play).” -Hanley Ramirez
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 14, 2013
*Update*- It looks like Hanley is going to play, according to the club. The Dodgers will have Hanley wear protective padding under his uniform to protect his rib if he is able to play. You are a warrior Hanley.