Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez is traveling to Phoenix on Wednesday and should have an MRI exam later in the afternoon, but based on what the Dodgers already know he could miss anywhere from two to 10 weeks. Ramirez jammed his right thumb diving for a ball at third base in the World Baseball Classic final Tuesday night in San Francisco.
Director of medical services Stan Conte spoke with the doctor at AT&T Park, and team trainer Sue Falsone was in contact with Ramirez on Tuesday night. Both relayed their information to manager Don Mattingly.
"They painted both pictures. The optimistic side is that he had another at-bat and it's just a sprain and it could be a couple of weeks," Mattingly said. "The pessimistic side is that it could be something major and he's out 8-10 weeks."
So even in a best case scenario, Ramirez could miss two weeks?
"They're guessing. Until we get the MRI, we're guessing," Mattingly said. "Him coming out the game, that was a pretty big game. Guys don't want to come out of those. To me it's enough of a concern that we're getting an MRI."
The Dodgers open their season in 12 days, on Apr. 1 against the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
Mattingly moved Luis Cruz from third base to shortstop in Wednesday's game in Surprise, a position switch that is likely to continue with Ramirez out for any extended length of time. Mattingly mentioned Dee Gordon as another possibility at shortstop, but Gordon is currently nursing a sprained left ankle that will keep him out both Wednesday and for Thursday's trip to Tucson. But Cruz would likely be the preferred choice.
"That's really who was doing it last year," Mattingly said. "It settled us down when we put Luis there."
Cruz started 23 games at shortstop in 2012, also filling in for a thumb injury, to Gordon, before moving to third base after Ramirez took over shortstop. Cruz made his final 48 starts last year at the hot corner. Moving Cruz to shortstop would open up third base to a rotation of players, including Jerry Hairston Jr., Juan Uribe, and Nick Punto.