Despite an unconfirmed report out of the Dominican that Hanley Ramirez had been diagnosed with two broken ribs and would be out for the playoffs, the Dodgers are continuing to play this close to the vest, so far refusing to provide results of yesterday’s CT scan and calling him a “gametime decision”. The apparent reasoning, according to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, is “gamesmanship”; that is, they don’t want the Cardinals to know what to plan for.
Really, this is a lose/lose situation. If Ramirez can’t go, then the Dodgers are stuck with Nick Punto‘s total lack of offense again. (Not to mention, you know how locker rooms function; there’s always going to be a sense of “rub some dirt on it!” reaction from teammates, no matter how foolish, especially in the playoffs.). If he can go, he’s almost certainly going to be limited — if his ribs truly are fractured, I can’t imagine how painful swinging the bat must be — on both sides of the ball, which doesn’t help either.
If word comes down that he’s seriously injured and can’t play in the next few days, then the Dodgers could replace him on the roster, but that almost seems pointless. It’s not like adding Jerry Hairston or Chris Capuano (who I imagine would be considered) would really make a difference, and such a move would make Ramirez ineligible for the World Series anyway. Not that that’s really a consideration at this point, because the Dodgers absolutely must beat Adam Wainwright tonight. That’s not an easy task even with a healthy Ramirez. Without him? Can’t say I love the odds.