Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez could be sidelined for more than two months or maybe just two weeks because of an injured left thumb.
“They’ve painted both pictures, and it’s a pretty big window,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Wednesday. “We’re guessing.”
Ramirez, a former Augusta GreenJacket, was hurt diving for a ball while playing third base Tuesday night in the championship game of the World Baseball Classic.
Ramirez was set to have an MRI when he returned to the Dodgers’ camp on Wednesday night. Mattingly said a mild sprain would likely leave the All-Star infielder out for a couple of weeks, but a major injury would make it much longer.
Luis Cruz, who was projected to play third base, started at shortstop Wednesday against Kansas City. Mattingly said Cruz would the first choice at shortstop if Ramirez is out for a while. That would open up third base for Nick Punto, Juan Uribe or Jerry Hairston.
YANKEES: Might be minus Derek Jeter on Opening Day.
The star shortstop missed his second consecutive exhibition game Wednesday because of inflammation in his surgically repaired left ankle. General manager Brian Cashman said there was a chance Jeter could begin the season on the disabled list.
“At this stage, I just don’t know, so all I can do is acknowledge it’s a possibility,” Cashman said.
The 38-year-old Jeter received an anti-inflammatory injection in his ankle. The Yankees start the regular season April 1 at home against Boston.
“We’ve got to do what’s right for him,” Cashman said. “Whatever’s right for him will be right for us. I’m not saying he’s going to be DLed, but I can’t tell you it won’t be. I don’t think it’s anything serious, I just think it’s a timing issue.”
Eduardo Nunez would replace Jeter at shortstop if he’s not ready for the opener.
ANGELS: Tommy Hanson insisted he was OK and wanted to stay on the mound. The Los Angeles Angels took a different approach with their new starter.
Hanson, a former Atlanta Brave, was pulled because of tightness in his right triceps as he warmed up for the fourth inning in Wednesday’s 6-5 win over Cleveland.
The right-hander allowed three hits and two runs with four strikeouts in his fourth spring start.
“This is the most comfortable I’ve felt all spring,” he said. “I was kind of bummed to come out of the game. I wanted to get back in there.”
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Hanson threw 45 pitches and was slated to go into the 70s. He added that Hanson has enough time to be ready to make his scheduled start during the regular season.
ASTROS: Bud Norris is all set to throw the first pitch of the 2013 major league season.
Houston announced said Wednesday that Norris will start on March 31 in the opener against Texas Rangers.
The Astros will play host to Texas in their first game since joining the American League in that Sunday night opener.
“You don’t have an opportunity like this all the time, to go out there and throw the first pitch of the season,” Norris said. “When I say it’s a childhood dream come true, that’s truly what it is.”
The 28-year-old righty was 7-13 last year. He is 2-0 with a 5.52 ERA in four spring training starts.
Norris will be the Astros’ fourth different opening-day starter in four years.