Ramirez Lands on Injured List with Hamate Fracture
Bob Toth | On 25, Aug 2019
The Indians’ climb up the standings was largely tied to the return to form of third baseman Jose Ramirez.
Now, the team will have to learn to do it without him, as the Tribe may very well be without Ramirez for the rest of the season.
The Cleveland Indians announced on Sunday morning that the two-time All-Star Ramirez had fractured the hamate bone in his right wrist on the third pitch of his at bat against Kansas City’s Glenn Sparkman in the first inning of Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Royals. Ramirez was placed on the 10-day injured list, while Yu Chang was recalled from Triple-A Columbus to take his roster spot for the immediate future.
The timing of the injury could not have been worse for Ramirez and the Indians, with just days over one month remaining in the regular season schedule. Hamate fractures typically run a 6- to 8- week immobilization period, according to several medical-based websites, with a period of physical therapy to follow. Surgery, which Ramirez is scheduled to have on Monday in New York, could potentially cut down that time table for a return slightly, but it likely will not be enough to allow Ramirez to make an impact on the rest of the Indians’ 2019 regular season.
The Indians will formally announce a time table for his return in the days following his surgery.
Ramirez has surged over the last few months after ending what felt like a year-long slump at the plate. The 26-year-old switch-hitter, after hovering at or below the Mendoza line for the first couple of months of the season, had pulled his season slash to .254/.325/.788 in 126 games with 33 doubles, three triples, 20 homers, 75 RBI (second-best on the team), and 24 stolen bases in 28 attempts (tops on the team). His numbers began to climb midway through June, leading to a .320 mark at the plate with nine doubles, nine homers, and 25 RBI, in 24 games in July and a .321 average with ten doubles, six homers, and 20 more RBI in 22 August games.
In 41 games since the All-Star break, Ramirez had contributed a .327/.363/.705 line (1.068 OPS) with 18 doubles, 13 homers, and 40 RBI. He was second in the American League in doubles and RBI, third in slugging, and fourth in homers since second half play began.
Chang was pulled during the middle of Columbus’ game on Saturday in preparation for a potential recall in the Clippers’ game against the Toledo Mud Hens. The 24-year-old sixth-year pro has appeared in just 68 games at Triple-A this season after dealing with a nagging left finger sprain that kept him shelved for nearly two months. The Indians called him up from June 28 to 30, when he filled in for Ramirez while he was on the paternity list. He went 0-for-4 in those first two Major League games with two strikeouts.
On the year for the Clippers, Chang has slashed .253/.322/.427 with 15 doubles, one triple, nine homers, and 39 RBI in his second season of play at the Triple-A level.
Photo: Ron Schwane/Getty Images