The World Baseball Classic didn’t do the Los Angeles Dodgers any favors. When Hanley Ramirez injured his thumb, which would keep him out for two months, the Dodgers lost one of the best athletes in Major League Baseball. Losing your starting short-stop for any team is costly, but how much will it cost the Dodgers?
Clearly, Ramirez is very important to the Dodgers, and he needs to have a bounce back year for his career. A three-time All-Star and former National League batting champion, Ramirez was injured before in 2011 while playing with the Miami Marlins. That injury possibly prompted the Marlins to sign Jose Reyes and relocate Ramirez from short-stop to third base.
It is obvious that move hurt Ramirez’s play and probably motivated the trade last season to the Dodgers. The Dodgers hoped the trade would get Ramirez back on track. His ability is unquestionable, and at 29 years old, he still has much to offer.
Ramirez has a career fielding percentage of .968, and his total error numbers have dropped significantly since 2008. His bat speaks for itself with career numbers of .298 BA, .371 OBP, .495 SLG, and .866 OPS; couple that with 1,171 hits, 158 HR, and 526 RBI, and you have a short-stop who has proven to be quite an asset.
That’s why the Dodgers traded for him, and his production will be sorely missed. When a team is loaded like LA, they can absorb the defensive numbers, but how much will his missed at bats cost the Dodgers?
Time will tell, but it’s a shame the Dodgers lost Ramirez for any time at all due to something as insignificant as the World Baseball Classic.