José Ramírez making strides in hopes of returning this season

The two-time All-Star participated in batting practice on Thursday

James Rapien
September 19, 2019 - 5:01 pm

CLEVELAND, OH – José Ramírez stepped into the box at Progressive Field for the first time in weeks on Thursday. The two-time All-Star took a couple of swings, before driving a ball into the right field seats.

It was Ramírez’s first time taking live batting practice since suffering a broken hand on August 24. He was expected to miss 5-to-7 weeks with the injury, but it sounds like he could return much sooner.

There’s been some speculation that he could be available as soon as this weekend. Others believe he could return for the White Sox series, which starts on Tuesday, September 24.

One thing is certain: people within the organization are hopeful that Ramírez can return to the field in some capacity before the end of the regular season. Terry Francona addressed Ramírez’s status on Thursday.

“You got a little ahead of me there,” he said when asked about Ramírez’s potential return. “He’s going to take BP on the field today. He’s run the bases. He’s taken ground balls. But you’ve gotten a little ahead of us.”

It’s wise for Francona to throw water on the fire. The last thing he wants is anyone to expect him to be on the field in the near future and it not happen due to something unforeseen. Setbacks happen, but so far, the 27-year-old has healed faster than expected and hopes to contribute during the stretch run.

“It’s not fair to expect him back,” Francona said on Wednesday. “As long as he seems to be trying his ass off to come back, we’d like to leave it open for him. That’s probably the best way I can put it.”

The Indians’ lineup could use Ramírez, who posted a .321/.372/.705 slash line with six home runs and 20 RBI in the month of August (22 games) before his injury.