Injury Updates – José Ramírez working toward return, Hand throws bullpen session

Two stars are working hard to come back this season

James Rapien
September 18, 2019 - 4:44 pm
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CLEVELAND, OH – José Ramírez was expected to miss the rest of the regular season after suffering a broken hamate bone in his right hand on August 24. The two-time All-Star has been hitting in the batting cage, fielding ground balls and running the bases.

“It’s not fair to expect him back,” manager Terry Francona said. “I think 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.”

Ramírez’s emergence was a big reason why the Indians were able to turn their season around. He got off to a slow start, but posted a .313/.360/.643 slash line from June 14-August 24 (60 games). The Indians were 41-19 over that span. Ramírez hit 16 of his 20 home runs over that span.  

He walked through the Indians clubhouse on Wednesday afternoon with the swagger people have come to know and love. He had just finished his on-field work. 

The Indians’ offense has looked average at times without him in the lineup. It’s a good sign that he’s doing everything he can to return to the field. If he can come back, it could give the team a huge boost in their quest to make the playoffs. No timetable has been given outside of the original 5-7 weeks that was announced last month.

Hand Work

Brad Hand threw a bullpen session on Wednesday. The Indians’ closer hasn’t been on the mound since September 8.

“He ended up throwing 23-24 pitches, fastball, breaking ball and looked really pretty good,” Francona said. “It was just nice to see him look like himself. His release point was back up where it normally is – he’s letting it go. I don’t know what the next step is. The medical team will have a huge say so in what the next step is and we have to respect that.”

Even with the time off, Hand is tied for second in the American League with 34 saves. Hand’s arm was dropping due to fatigue. The Indians hope they can get him back to 100 percent so he can help them make one last playoff push.

“The good part was that he just looked like himself,” Francona said with a smile. “That made everyone feel good.”