Hanley Ramirez out two months with torn thumb ligament injury

Hanley Ramirez at the WBC. - Ezra Shaw

Hanley Ramirez will miss about 2 months of the season recovering from torn thumb ligament surgery. Dee Gordon will be the likely beneficiary.

Hanley Ramirez will miss roughly the first two months of the season due to a torn ligament in his right thumb. He suffered the injury at the World Baseball Classic while he was playing third base, something the Dodgers did not want him to do. This is obviously a disaster for anyone who has already drafted Hanley. The only consolation is that once the thumb is healed, unlike a wrist or shoulder injury, it shouldn’t affect his production all that much. Count on about 2/3 of the production you expected out of Hanley before the injury. That’s still a very valuable player but he’ll need to be moved down draft boards appropriately.

The player that will benefit the most from Hanley’s injury is Dee Gordon. Gordon was slated to begin the season at AAA but will now be the favorite to open the season at starting shortstop and perhaps even the leadoff spot in a still very good Dodgers lineup. If he is available in your league, whether you own Hanley or not, I strongly suggest picking up Dee Gordon.

Gordon has had a decent spring. For a small sample size what is important is that he has 8 walks to 5 strikeouts. After having only 20 BB to 62 K last season, this signifies a change in his approach at the plate to be a more patient hitter. If he can carry that over into the regular season then he might do what many predicted last year and post a huge stolen base total. He’ll likely be a lock for 50+ SB with regular playing time throughout the season. He has 7 SB in the spring without being caught and he had 32 last year while being caught 10 times in just 87 games.

Jerry Hairston Jr. and Juan Uribe could fill the void at 3B if Luis Cruz is deemed to be Hanley's replacement at SS although I don't think that's the Dodgers best choice.There will likely be playing time issues to be sorted out after Hanley returns. If Luis Cruz falters it's possible that Hanley comes back at 3B or even that Dee Gordon transitions to 3B. If Luis Cruz and Dee Gordon are both performing well it's also possible that there could be some sort of rotation between Hanley, Gordon, Cruz, and Mark Ellis between 2B, SS, and 3B. Hairston Jr. and Uribe won't offer much fantasy value even if they do end up with an increase in playing time except for in extremely deep leagues.

Check out http://www.truebluela.com/ for more Hanley Ramirez updates and all of your Dodgers information.

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