On Sunday, the Cleveland Indians announced third baseman Jose Ramirez has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a fractured hamate bone in his right hand. Ramirez will undergo surgery on Monday, and the Indians will release a timetable for his return afterward.
During Saturday's game against the Royals, Ramirez appeared to sustain the injury during an at-bat in the first inning.
After foul-tipping a pitch from right-hander Glenn Sparkman, Ramirez grimaced in pain before calling over for the team's athletic trainer. He exited the game, and underwent an MR. The Indians initially termed it "right wrist discomfort'' before the MRI results concluded that he had fractured the hamate bone in his right hand. Mike Freeman replaced Ramirez at third in Saturday's game. Freeman finished the game 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored.
After overcoming a slow start (218/.308/.344 in the first half), Ramirez entered Saturday's game second in MLB in extra-base hits (32) and third in RBI (40) since the All-Star break. Ramirez, a two-time All-Star, is just one stolen base away from becoming just the 10th player in Indians history with multiple seasons of at least 30 doubles and at least 25 steals. It hasn't been accomplished since Grady Sizemore in 2007-08.
On the season, Ramirez is slashing .254/.325/.463 with 20 home runs, 75 RBI and 24 stolen bases in 126 games.
While the Indians won't announce an immediate timetable for Ramirez's return until after he undergoes surgery, hamate fractures usually require about a four-to-six week recovery time. That would mean, if all goes well, Ramirez would miss the rest of the regular season, but be ready to rejoin the team for a potential playoff run.
Entering play on Sunday, Cleveland (76-54) leads the first wild-card spot by a half game over the Rays. The Athletics are a half game back of the Rays while the reigning World Series champion Red Sox are six games behind.
Not only did the Indians fight their way back into playoff contention, but they have given themselves a chance at knocking out the Twins for the AL Central title. The Indians are just 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Twins.
Infielder Yu Chang was called up from Triple-A Columbus to fill Ramirez's place on the active roster. Chang, 24, is batting .253/.322/.427 with 15 doubles, nine home runs and 39 RBI in 68 games at Triple-A. Chang made his MLB debut on June 28 when Ramirez was on the paternity list.