LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Indians are expecting to be without young infielder Jose Ramirez through the early portion of Spring Training because of a sprained left thumb.
On Monday, the club announced that Ramirez will be examined by hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham on Wednesday in Cleveland. Ramirez might need surgery, which could keep him sidelined for seven to 10 weeks, making Spring Training a possible target for return.
"We're in the process of getting another opinion," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said during the first day of the Winter Meetings. "[Surgery] is an option. I want to get a little more information before we confirm that. In any event, he should be ready for Spring Training."
Ramirez injured his hand on Nov. 22 during a slide in a game for Este in the Dominican Winter League.
The 21-year-old Ramirez -- called up to the big leagues from Double-A as part of Cleveland's September promotions last season -- hit .333 (4-for-12) in 15 games. The utility man appeared mostly as a pinch-runner during the Indians' stretch run to the postseason.
In 113 games with Double-A Akron this past season, Ramirez hit .272 with a .325 on-base percentage and a .349 slugging percentage. Along the way, he piled up three home runs, 25 extra-base hits, 38 RBIs, 38 stolen bases and 78 runs in the Minors.
During winter ball, Ramirez hit .287 with nine extra-base hits, seven RBIs and 11 runs scored in 25 games for Este.
"He could come into camp to compete for a spot," Antonetti said. "We'll have competition for the last few spots on the team."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.