Cleveland Indians star infielder Jose Ramirez was placed on the 10-day injured list Sunday after suffering a fractured hamate bone in his right hand during Saturday’s win against the Kansas City Royals. Yu Chang was recalled from Triple-A Columbus in a corresponding move while Mike Freeman will likely take over the every-day third base job.
Hamate bone injuries are one of the most dreaded for position players in baseball. Ramirez will undergo surgery on Monday, most likely ending his 2019 campaign. Even if Cleveland manages to make the postseason and he finds a way back to the field, there’s no guarantee he’ll be at 100 percent; the small wrist bone is vital to a player’s swing and doesn’t always heal quickly.
This is a massive blow to Cleveland’s playoff chances as the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics are both within a game of the top Wild Card spot. The team is also 2.5 games behind the Minnesota Twins for the AL Central crown.
Ramirez had a truly horrible start to 2019, slashing .214/.309/.325 with five homers in his first 80 games. However, since the start of July, the former MVP candidate has been significantly better. In 46 games he’s clocked 15 long balls, 19 doubles, and a wonderful .320/.354/.691 triple-slash. He was a huge part of the team’s second-half resurgence.
Barring a miracle, Ramirez is likely going to miss the rest of the season, or at least the large majority of it. His second-half heater has dragged Cleveland up the AL Central standings but now the team is left with some big question marks. With Corey Kluber also out until at least mid-September, the Indians’ playoff chances are looking slimmer by the day.