Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez took live
batting practice last night prior to the team’s contest against the Baltimore
Orioles. Manager Don Mattingly said Ramirez – who’s aiming to return by the end
of the month – is nearing a minor league rehab assignment, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
"Stan [Conte, medical director] said we've got to get
off the trip first," Mattingly said. "[It is] at least a week before
a rehab assignment. You want him to play at least a game or two. He hasn't
played a [Major League] game in six months. He needs to get out and prove
Ramirez has been out since the spring due to a thumb injury,
which he suffered during the World Baseball Classic. If it were up to him, he’d
return to the team without going on assignment.
However, it’s not up to him, and it appears that he’ll have
to spend at least a few games in the minors before making his season debut for
Los Angeles. He has been throwing for the past two weeks, and the cast he was
sporting has been replaced with a pliable splint taped to his thumb. This gives
him more freedom when it comes to hitting and throwing.
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