Sun-Times beat reporter Gordon Wittenmyer tweeted today that Aramis Ramirez has received a cortison shot in his sore left pinky. The embattled slugger was out of the lineup again in Thursday's afternoon game against the Los Angeles Dodgers but hopes, Wittenmyer reports, to return to the lineup in time for this weekend’s Cubs-Cardinals series.â†µ
But is that the smartest course of action here? Does no one in the Cubs organization remember Alfonso Soriano’s lingering injury last season – and its severe effects on his performance? Does the team not have multiple backup third baseman (Baker, Fontenot, Tracy) who could sub for Ramirez while he’s out? (OK, Fontenot’s a bit of a push.)â†µ
Best of all, the DL stint could be backdated May 22 – Aramis’ last in-game appearance with the team. This could be a key selling point in getting him to agree to the move.â†µ
A DL stint would give Ramirez’s sore hand time to fully heal. Plus, he could get a longer mental break from a game that is, for whatever reason, baffling him at the moment. And he’d presumably have time to work on his swing and maybe build up some confidence in a rehab start or two.â†µ
I understand why players don’t want to go on the DL. There’s a certain honor to battling through an injury or mental block. And I respect the need for a reasonbly large sample size of plate appearances to get some idea of whether a guy has really lost the plot or is simply getting unlucky. But Aramis is close enough to 200 PAs to satisfy the latter point. (He has 173 PAs, as of this writing.)â†µ
And regarding the former point, well, there’s honor in letting your team prevent itself from making the same mistake two seasons in a row, too.