Indians Activate Ramirez from Injured List
Bob Toth | On 24, Sep 2019
If anyone wants to question the heart, soul, or desire of members of the Cleveland Indians, that person should only look to the effort of Jose Ramirez.
Defying the odds and throwing conventional time tables out the window, the injured third baseman was activated by the Indians on Tuesday, ahead of the team’s six-game season-ending road trip through Chicago and Washington, DC.
Ramirez broke his right hamate bone on a swing on Saturday, August 24, against the Kansas City Royals, leaving the game in the middle of his at bat. Surgery followed in New York the following Monday, August 26, leaving the now 27-year-old with a significant incision on the palm of his hand. Conservative estimates on the recovery time from a broken hamate bone generally involved six weeks of time in a cast, followed by four to six weeks of physical therapy. Surgery, which Ramirez opted for, to remove the broken hook allowed physical therapy to begin immediately and a full recovery window that should have taken six to eight weeks.
Thought to be unable to return prior to the playoffs (if the Indians were to clinch a spot without him), Ramirez took batting practice at Progressive Field during the team’s final homestand of the season and got the green light to return, one month to the day that he initially broke the bone.
Ramirez was one of the hottest hitters in baseball for months after ending a grueling hitting slump that carried back to the final months of the 2018 season. After hitting .181 in March/April, .245 in May, and .216 in June, his average plumped up in a big way in July, when he hit .320. He followed with a .321 showing in 22 games in August before succumbing to his hand injury. June actually marked the turnaround for the switch-hitter, as he ended a slow start to the month with a dramatic turnaround at the plate, using six- and five-game hitting streaks in the back half of the month to inject life into his offensive efforts.
Entering Tuesday’s action against the White Sox, Ramirez has taken the field in 126 games, posting a .254/.325/.463 slash with 33 doubles, three triples, 20 homers, and 75 RBI. He remains the team leader in stolen bases with 24 in 28 attempts.
With six vital games standing between observing the playoffs or participating in them, Ramirez may provide the club with a little extra jolt, regardless of whether he is contributing from the starting lineup or off of the bench. The Indians are a far better team with Ramirez on the roster than off of it, and their postseason dreams may very well teeter on the excitement and energy that he brings back to the clubhouse in a role as player and not cheerleader.
Photo: Ron Schwane/Getty Images