Saturday, September 14, 2013

Ramirez, And His Nerve, Both Irritated

So it's an irritated nerve that is shutting Dodgers offensive juggernaut Hanley Ramirez down, only temporarily:

LOS ANGELES -- Hanley Ramirez didn't make an appearance inside the Los Angeles Dodgers clubhouse prior to Friday night's game against the visiting San Francisco Giants. The hot-hitting shortstop was getting an MRI on his bothersome left hamstring, which flared up again Thursday night in the series opener at Dodger Stadium.

Turned out, it's an irritated nerve in his back that's expected to keep Ramirez out until next week.

The absence of the team's most productive hitter just two weeks before the end of the regular season would have most playoff-bound managers pacing the hallways, but Don Mattingly didn't seem overly concerned as he chatted with reporters before the game, about two hours before the news of the injury was relayed from the club.

One reason Mattingly seemed at ease is the 12½-game lead the Dodgers own in the National League West entering Friday. Another is what the coaching and training staff has been seeing and hearing from Ramirez in recent weeks.

"What Hanley was telling us [Thursday] night isn't something we haven't been hearing," Mattingly said. "As the game went on he got tightness, so it was like, 'OK, we're not going to keep doing this.'"

Take your time, Hanley. We got this NL West thing. Rest up for the postseason.