Zack Greinke said Wednesday that he should be ready to pitch in the opening week of the regular season, but the Dodgers braced themselves for the possibility that shortstop Hanley Ramirez could be lost for more than two months.
Ramirez was scheduled for an MRI exam on his right thumb, which he injured diving for a ball Tuesday night in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic.
The results of that exam, which weren't expected to be known until Thursday morning, could determine how the left side of the Dodgers' infield looks for the first several weeks of the season.
Manager Don Mattingly was informed of a wide range of possible scenarios by the team's medical staff.
"The optimistic side is … it's just a sprain and it's a couple weeks," Mattingly said. "The pessimistic side is it could be something major and it's more long-term, eight to 10 weeks."
Opening day is April 1.
"With all the positives of the WBC, this is just kind of one of the negatives," Mattingly said.
If Ramirez can't play, he will probably be replaced at shortstop by Luis Cruz, who played 23 games there last season. Cruz was scheduled to start at third base Wednesday in the Dodgers' exhibition game against Kansas City, but Mattingly moved him to shortstop.
If Cruz starts the season at shortstop, the Dodgers would probably rotate Jerry Hairston Jr., Juan Uribe and Nick Punto at third base.
Dee Gordon is also under consideration to replace Ramirez, which would allow Cruz to remain at third, his natural position. Gordon is listed as day to day because of a sprained ankle.
The news regarding Greinke was significantly more upbeat.
Dodgers get good news on Zack Greinke, await word on Hanley Ramirez
Los Angeles Times | Mar 21