Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Hanley Ramirez will miss the first eight weeks of the season because of a thumb injury he suffered in the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic title win this week.
Ramirez injured his thumb in the field during the game, and has to undergo surgery after an MRI revealed torn ligaments.
Such injuries are why Major League teams are reluctant to have some of their best players participate in the World Baseball Classic. Ramirez’s injury is potentially devastating for a Dodgers squad because of its sky-high payroll–players will have expectations placed on them from the first week.
Ramirez, who played third base last year after coming over in a mid-season trade from Miami, was set to play his natural shortstop position this year for the Dodgers.
The slugger was instrumental in jumpstarting a struggling Dodgers offense. He not only is a threat to hit a home run every time he steps to the plate, but his presence in the lineup also allowed Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier to see more fastballs and made them better hitters as well.